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Fixing Cameron’s ‘sh*t show’? Boris Johnson pledges cash to stabilize lawless Libya

Britain has vowed to bring stability to war-torn Libya – six years after helping to...

‘Shameless’ Theresa May ‘begged’ David Cameron to publicly back DUP deal – reports

Published time: 3 Jul, 2017 14:05 Prime Minister Theresa May reportedly “begged” her predecessor David...
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Video: Cameron & Prince William implicated in FIFA corruption probe – reports

Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William are implicated in a corruption scandal, over England's bid for the 2018 World Cup, according...

Samantha Cameron has ‘no disposable income’ despite aristocratic family & ex-PM husband’s wealth

Samantha Cameron, wife of former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and daughter of a multi-millionaire...

Theresa May should resign over security failures – ex-Cameron advisor

Published time: 5 Jun, 2017 10:14 Prime Minister Theresa May should resign rather than seek...

‘I was always Euroskeptic,’ claims Cameron… despite leading Remain campaign

Ex-Tory Prime Minister David Cameron claims he was a Euroskeptic all along, despite leading the...

Boris Johnson & David Cameron criticized for New York night out in wake of...

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and former PM David Cameron ‘dad dancing’ in New York...

Convicted businessman uses David Cameron’s criticism of ‘fantastically corrupt’ Nigeria to appeal

Published time: 24 Mar, 2017 16:52Edited time: 24 Mar, 2017 17:05 A businessman convicted of corruption...

Ex-PM David Cameron jokes he doesn’t have to listen to Trump’s ‘wiretaps’ anymore

David Cameron has joked that he’s glad he doesn’t have to listen to Donald Trump’s “wiretapped” conversations anymore now he’s no longer prime minister...

David Cameron’s mum wins award… for campaigning against her son’s austerity policies

Former Prime Minister David Cameron’s mother has won an award for campaigning to reverse government...

Cringeworthy Cameron: Ex-PM shoots toe-curling Snapchat video with Arnold Schwarzenegger (VIDEO)

Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron has promised he’ll “be back” as he channelled Arnold...

David Cameron tried to get Daily Mail Editor Paul Dacre sacked over Brexit backing

Former Prime Minister David Cameron tried to get the editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre, sacked because of his pro-Brexit views. According to the...

David Cameron ‘names birds after Boris Johnson & shoots them’

Game hunting ex-Prime Minister David Cameron names birds after Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Michael Gove...

Cameron had crusts cut off his toast for him, Tory MP claims

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron had someone cut the crusts off his morning toast...

Could David Cameron become NATO’s next secretary-general?

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron is tipped to become the next secretary-general of NATO,...

More trouble ahead for West, warns ex-PM Cameron in lucrative speech

Western democracies must undergo a “course correction” after Brexit and Trump or risk being swept...

Cameron ‘does a Blair’: Ex-PM launches firm to cash-in on lucrative speaking tours

Former Prime Minister David Cameron is following in the footsteps of Tony Blair and...

China buys pub where Xi Jinping & David Cameron posed for beery photo-op

A state-backed Chinese firm has bought a 16th century Buckinghamshire pub where then-prime minister David...

Ex-PM Cameron ‘paid £120,000’ for 1hr speech on Brexit

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron may have suffered a humiliating loss when Britain voted to leave the EU, but it appears he is...
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Video: Cameron, Sarkozy Libya ‘liberation’ (cheers!) speeches in Benghazi Sept 15, 2011

Sep 15, 2011 - Libya: Cameron and Sarkozy mobbed in Benghazi Libya: David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy receive heroes' welcome in Tripoli They came...

Cameron to publish ‘tell-all’ memoir… but will ex-PM come clean about #PigGate?

Former PM David Cameron says he will publish a ‘tell-all’ autobiography, reflecting on the highs...

Ex-Cameron aide launches lobby group… without govt watchdog’s approval

A former aide to David Cameron has come under fire for launching a lobbying firm without getting clearance from a government watchdog responsible for...
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Video: Cameron responsible for rise in xenophobia & racism abuse in UK – watchdog

A report condemning “considerable intolerant political discourse in the UK, particularly focusing on immigration” was published by the Council of Europe's ... Via Youtube

Cameron accused of ignoring own MPs in rush to war with Assad

Impatient to launch airstrikes against Syrian regime targets in 2013, former Prime Minister David Cameron...

Boris & Cameron settle Brexit feud over whiskey in Jerusalem… freezing out ‘backstabber’ Gove

Ex-PM David Cameron and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have reportedly mended their broken friendship by hashing out their Brexit differences over whiskeys at a...

David Cameron tried to manipulate the BBC, political memoirs suggest

Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron pressed the BBC to deliver more pro-Remain coverage ahead...

Racism experts blast tabloids, Cameron for anti-immigrant hate speech in UK

Parts of the British media and some Conservative politicians have been blamed for a rise...

Cameron tried to quash Iraq War abuse inquiries but was blocked by Britain’s top...

Efforts by former Prime Minister David Cameron to put a stop to the Iraq Historic...

Cameron legacy ‘a bit of a tragedy’: Bernie Sanders’ brother Larry who launched MP...

Oxfordshire’s Larry Sanders, who launched a bid to take former British Prime Minister David Cameron’s...

Bernie Sanders’ brother Larry stands in David Cameron’s old constituency for UK Green Party

Witney, Oxfordshire, is about to feel the Bern. Well, kind of. Larry Sanders, brother of...

Libya: David Cameron’s “Iraq”?

Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron is consistent in just one thing – jumping ship when the going gets tough. He announced his resignation...
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Video: UK intervention in Libya ill-conceived & based on erroneous facts, Cameron responsible –...

The UK strategy in Libya was based on erroneous facts, and the operation to protect civilians turned into “regime change by military means,” a...

Hold Cameron to account for ‘ill conceived’ Libya war – Tory MP

Former PM David Cameron should be summoned to Parliament to account for his decisions during...

Cameron responsible for ‘erroneous’ UK strategy in Libya, leading to rise of ISIS –...

The UK strategy in Libya was based on erroneous facts, and the operation to protect...

Former British PM David Cameron resigns as MP with immediate effect

Former Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned from Parliament with immediate effect. The MP for...

David Cameron’s final shameless scam: Political allies get 25% pay rise

Former prime minister David Cameron offered inexplicable pay rises to his special advisers mere months before they were given post-Brexit ‘golden handshakes.’ According to figures...

Cameron’s ‘cronyism’ could cost Eton pal top diplomatic job in Paris

One of David Cameron’s best pals is to be investigated by Westminster officials claims arose that he was attempting to get the top diplomatic...

Cameron could face inquiry grilling over ‘cronies’ honors list

Former British Prime Minister David Cameron could be hauled before MPs for a grilling about his controversial resignation honors list, a Conservative MP has...

Cameron showers allies with £900K taxpayer-funded ‘golden goodbyes’

Ex-Prime Minister David Cameron splurged almost £1 million of public money on “golden goodbyes” for loyal ministers and aides, it has emerged. Faithful colleagues and...

Cameron ‘cronyism’ symptomatic of Britain’s ‘corrupt & decaying democracy’ – former adviser

Former Prime Minister David Cameron’s rewarding of Tory donors in his resignation honors list symbolizes a “serious type of very British corruption,” a former...

Stylists, spin doctors & donors: Cameron honors list rewards ‘old boy network,’ May won’t...

Labour has accused former Prime Minister David Cameron of cronyism after his resignation honors list...

May scraps ‘minister for Syrian refugees’ role invented by Cameron

British Prime Minister Theresa May has axed the ministerial post responsible for ensuring 20,000 Syrian refugees are accommodated in the UK by 2020. May quietly...
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Video: New British PM Will Govern to the Right of Cameron

Economist John Weeks says Theresa May will negotiate Brexit to completion despite her previous opposition to leaving the European Union. Via Youtube
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Video: David Cameron attends last PMQs

RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaToday Like us on Facebook ... Via Youtube
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Video: Cameron resigns as Prime Minister, Theresa May steps in (incl May’s full speech)...

Cameron resigns as Prime Minister, Theresa May steps in - streamed live feed RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! Via Youtube

‘I love Larry the Downing Street cat & I’ll prove it!’ Cameron tells MPs

Outgoing British leader David Cameron has used his final prime minister’s questions (PMQs) on Wednesday...

Scottish nationalists sit in stony silence for Cameron’s final ovation

Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs did not join the standing ovation that concluded David Cameron’s...

Cameron: A political obituary… PM leaves a legacy of failure and claims of pig...

As David Cameron ties up the loose ends at 10 Downing Street before his long-serving...

Cameron to leave Downing Street on Wednesday, Theresa May to become PM

Theresa May will succeed David Cameron as Prime Minister on Wednesday evening after May’s challenger...
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Video: Neil Hamilton “Cameron and Osborne Are Liars & The Vote Remain Camp Is...

Please Support The Show – http://richieallen.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/therichieallenshow http://www.youtube.com/RichieAllenShowMedia Tune in at ... Via Youtube
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Video: Cameron attends PMQs after Chilcot’s Iraq War inquiry publication (recorded live)

Cameron attends PMQs after Chilcot's Iraq War inquiry publiation RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to RT! Via Youtube

Cameron condemns 'xenophobic' and 'racist' abuse after Brexit vote

David Cameron has condemned “despicable” xenophobic abuse after the EU referendum as figures suggested a 57% increase in reported incidents. The country...

The Economics of Brexit: What Cameron Got Wrong

Some of the main arguments for Brexit tapped into populist anger. For instance, people like Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party and other...

Cameron throws money at police after 60% rise in hate-crime after Brexit vote

David Cameron promised the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and police extra cash to deal with...

Who will succeed Cameron? Boris Johnson & Theresa May favorites for Britain’s top job

Ex-London mayor Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Theresa May have emerged as the clear favorites to succeed David Cameron after he resigned as prime...

Brexit: What next for Cameron & the United Kingdom?

Britain has voted to 'Leave' the EU. Questions now hang over Prime Minister David Cameron’s...

‘Shocked’ MPs react to British PM David Cameron’s Brexit resignation

Following David Cameron’s revelation that he will step down as prime minister within three months...
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Video: Shaking Hands: David Cameron’s ‘special EU membership deal’ for UK

David Cameron 'did everything in his power' to make sure the UK gets a sweet deal with the EU. RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to...

Pig farmer or 007? Twitter gives Cameron career advice as legacy crumbles

Hot on the heels of David Cameron’s resignation as Britain’s prime minister social media users...
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Video: David Cameron resigns as British PM in wake of Brexit vote (FULL SPEECH)

Britain's David Cameron has announced plans to resign as prime minister following Britain's decision to leave the European Union. RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air ... Via Youtube

Cameron steps down as PM, to leave office by October (VIDEO)

Britain's David Cameron has announced plans to resign as prime minister following Britain’s decision to...

Turkey ‘flabbergasted’ by Cameron’s EU volte-face

A senior Turkish official has accused UK Prime Minister David Cameron of abandoning Ankara in...

Scaremonger Alert! Cameron warns Brexit poses ‘huge risk’ to economy

British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that a vote to leave the European Union in an upcoming referendum would be “irreversible” and a...

Turkey tactic: Block Ankara’s EU accession, Boris & Gove tell Cameron

Senior Tory Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have called on Prime Minister David Cameron...

Cameron plans Trident vote to unify Tories split over EU referendum

Prime Minister David Cameron plans to call a House of Commons vote on the renewal...

If Cameron ruled out Turkey joining the EU, no one told the British embassy...

The British embassy in Ankara says it’s working to help Turkey join the EU -...

Why is David Cameron so desperate for young people to vote in the EU...

British PM David Cameron and the ‘Remain’ camp are increasingly desperate to convince young people...

Trump plans provocative UK visit 1 day after Brexit vote, but will Cameron greet...

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will visit Scotland on June 24, just a day after...
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Video: From ‘ISIS supporter’ to ‘proud Muslim’ Cameron changes tune on new London mayor...

Britain's Prime Minister's under fire for an apparent change of tune when it comes to the new London mayor Sadiq Khan. Just weeks after...

Aussie-style points system for EU migrants could derail UK economy – Cameron

Pursuing a points-based immigration system for EU migrants could derail Britain’s economy, Prime Minister David...

David Cameron calls Sadiq Khan a ‘proud Muslim’ just weeks after linking him to...

Prime Minister David Cameron said Sadiq Khan was “a proud Muslim and a proud Brit”...

'You can’t trust Cameron': Brexiteers back Army minister Mordaunt over Turkey EU claims

After Prime Minister David Cameron suggested Tory minister Penny Mordaunt was lying over Turkey’s prospects...

Cameron rejects Tony Blair’s call to send ground troops into Syria

Prime Minister David Cameron has said there will be no troops sent into Syria just...

Gunboat diplomacy: Cameron pledges warship & support to Libyan unity government

Britain must support the new Libyan unity government, Prime Minister David Cameron told G7 leaders,...
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Video: ‘Not remotely on the cards’ Cameron rules out Turkey joining EU anytime soon

David Cameron ruled out Turkey joining the EU anytime soon, saying Ankara may join the bloc 'in about the year 3000.' The British prime...

Brexit fears force Cameron to seek help from his friends at G7 summit

Prime Minister David Cameron will seek support for Britain remaining in the European Union from world leaders at the G7 summit this week, amid...

Cameron: ‘I’d meet Trump, but his Muslim comments are dangerous’

UK Prime Minister David Cameron says he would be happy to meet presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump despite again criticising the tycoon’s proposed...

Cameron’s new BFF? UK faces US & Japanese ire at G7 after ‘love-bombing’ China

Prime Minister David Cameron will come under pressure from the United States and Japan at...

Cameron faces 1st Queen’s Speech defeat since 1924 over failure ‘to protect NHS from...

Prime Minister David Cameron faces a Queen’s Speech defeat as 25 Brexit campaigners from his own party threaten to join forces with Labour to...

Trump backtracks on Cameron criticism, now envisions ‘good relationship’

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump says he expects to have “a good relationship” with UK...

David Cameron on Tinder: Yes but no?

Tinder users could be in for a shock this month when Prime Minister David Cameron...

Leaked: Cameron ‘knee-deep in conspiracy’ with big business to keep Britain in EU

Prime Minister David Cameron is accused of being “knee-deep in a conspiracy” to keep Britain in the EU after leaked letters reveal he discussed...
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Video: Johnson-Cameron ‘bromance’ hits Brexit rocks

Brexit debate has been intensifying with the vote set for next month. And it seems to have strained what had appeared to be a...

Trump calls London Mayor Khan ‘ignorant’ & predicts poor relations with Cameron

White House hopeful Donald Trump says he is unlikely to have a good relationship with...

Conservative coup? Cameron could face Tory revolt if Britain stays in EU

Tory MPs are considering a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister David Cameron if...

Cameron’s legacy? 1 in 3 Brits experienced poverty in past 3yrs, PM warns Brexit...

A third of Britons have experienced poverty at least once in the last three years, and almost four million live in “persistent poverty,” research...

WWII vets rally behind EU, as Cameron warns Brexit risks war in Europe

Veterans of the Second World War have called on the British public to vote to...

Cameron will use anti-corruption summit to call on wealthy to admit sources of cash

Those suspected of money laundering may be forced to disclose the origins of their wealth...

Nigeria president doesn’t want Cameron corruption apology… just all the country’s money back

Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari used a keynote speech at a major anti-corruption conference in London...

Tax haven brands Cameron’s strategy for ‘tackling’ financial secrecy futile

Cayman Islands officials have dismissed UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s latest transparency drive as “pointless,”...

Cameron tells Queen Nigeria & Afghanistan are ‘fantastically corrupt’ (VIDEO)

UK Prime Minister David Cameron was caught on camera describing Nigeria and Afghanistan as “fantastically corrupt” in a conversation with the Queen. At a Buckingham...

(Anti-) Corruption experts? Who’s who at Cameron’s post-Panama Papers transparency summit

Prime Minister David Cameron’s anti-corruption summit will bring together a bevy of political leaders, officials from the financial world and sports representatives of FIFA...

‘Slippery fish’ Cameron is duping the public, TTIP is threat to NHS, critics say

Prime Minister David Cameron stands accused of “duping” the British public with his claims the National Health Service (NHS) is “completely protected” under the...

New London Mayor Sadiq Khan accuses Cameron & Goldsmith of ‘Trump’ tactics

London’s newly elected mayor, Sadiq Khan, has compared Prime Minister David Cameron and mayoral opponent...

Cameron ‘has no intention’ of apologizing to Trump for calling him ‘divisive, stupid, &...

British Prime Minister David Cameron will not apologize to US presidential hopeful Donald Trump for...

Muslim cleric branded ISIS supporter by Cameron demands apology

A South London Muslim cleric has demanded an apology from David Cameron after the prime...

Cameron proposes global anti-corruption body … with zero law enforcement powers

A global anti-corruption agency designed to track dirty money and crack down on tax evasion,...

Dodging parliamentary summons could be a crime, say MPs – but will it apply...

MPs are considering whether to make dodging a select committee summons a crime, a day...

'Too busy' Cameron won't show for Libya ‘sh*t-show’ war inquiry

Prime Minister David Cameron told the committee holding an inquiry into his 2011 Libyan campaign...

Cameron U-turn offers hope to lone child refugees in EU at risk of abuse

David Cameron has caved into demands for Britain to take in more child refugees who...

Cameron faces Brexit grilling by House of Commons committee

British Prime Minister David Cameron will appear in front of the House of Commons Liaison...

Cameron should say sorry for calling Trump ‘divisive, stupid & wrong’ – aide

British Prime Minister David Cameron should apologize to US presidential hopeful Donald Trump for branding him “divisive, stupid and wrong,” a foreign policy advisor...

Stop laundering of plundered Nigerian assets via UK, reformers tell Cameron

Britain must end its role as a “safe haven” for white-collar criminals who steal Nigeria’s...
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Video: “Mr Ethical” On How Cameron, Corbyn & BBC Are Covering Up Billion Pound...

Please Support The Show – http://richieallen.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/therichieallenshow http://www.youtube.com/RichieAllenShowMedia Tune in at ... Via Youtube

Hedging bets? Cameron leads Trump charm offensive … in case The Donald wins presidency

Prime Minister David Cameron is leading a diplomatic charm offensive on Republican frontrunner Donald Trump...

Cameron Is Cornered

It’s said that there’s nothing more vicious than a wild animal that’s cornered. I’d add that there’s nothing more devious than a top corporate...

MPs defy Cameron, unanimously agree ISIS committed genocide against Yazidis & Christians

MPs have voted unanimously to classify the treatment of Yazidis and Christians by Islamic State...

MPs brand Cameron ‘racist’ after PM claims London mayor candidate ‘shared stage with pro-ISIS...

Cries of “racist” drowned out British PM David Cameron as he delivered a speech accusing...
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Video: Rallies against Cameron & govt austerity measures hit London (recorded live)

People have taken to the London streets to join national demonstrations against UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his government's austerity measures. Via Youtube

#4Demands: Masses take to London streets protesting Cameron & austerity (VIDEOS)

A huge number of people from across the UK are marching in London, calling for...

Thousands to descend on London to demand David Cameron’s resignation

Thousands from across the UK are expected to gather in central London Saturday in protest...

Time to go, Dave? Cameron’s ratings slump over EU vote & tax affairs

Prime Minister David Cameron’s approval ratings have plummeted 8 percent over his handling of the...

Panama Papers destabilise Cameron government in UK

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. The angry response in the UK to the “Panama Papers” revelations...

‘Used prime minister’ David Cameron up for sale on eBay

David Cameron, the British prime minister in the middle of the #PanamaPapers tax evasion scandal,...

‘Cameron tax havens law is useless… and he knows it!’ – economist

Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan to introduce new legislation to curb tax evasion in the...

Cameron ‘oblivious’ to tax avoidance fury, as over 100,000 petition for snap election

Prime Minister David Cameron doesn’t recognize the intensity of public anger over his tax affairs,...
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Video: ‘Cameron Resign’: ‘Tough week’ for UK PM following Panama Papers leak

A massive protest has gathered in front of PM David Cameron's residence at Downing Street 10, calling for his resignation. The rally follows the...

Time to pay the piper: Cameron faces wrath of MPs over tax affairs

Prime Minister David Cameron will announce new laws in the House of Commons on Monday with the aim of tackling tax evasion, but is...
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Video: Scuffles & arrests as police shut down anti-Cameron protest

Police officers arrested several activists as they cleared the remaining few hundred people from Parliament Square in London, Saturday. The protest, which ... Via Youtube

PM Cameron received £200,000 in gifts from mom, potentially avoiding inheritance tax

Pressured over links to his late father’s offshore dealings, UK PM David Cameron has published statements on his personal finances. The disclosure reveals he...
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Video: Anti-Cameron rally in London

Protesters take to the streets after UK PM David Cameron turned out to be involved in Panama papers scandal RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air Subscribe to...

Crowds march in London to demand Cameron resignation following Panama Papers leak (IMAGES)

A massive protest has gathered in front of PM David Cameron’s residence at Downing Street...

‘Close tax loopholes or resign!’ Anti-Cameron protests gather momentum

With echoes of the movement that toppled Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, UK PM...

Brexiteers mock ‘Kim Jong Cameron’ as 130,000 say ‘no’ to £9mn pro-EU leaflet

Snarky Brexiteers have shared a campaign ad branding the embattled British PM ‘Kim Jong Cameron’...

Samantha Cameron under fire for taxpayer-funded £53k-a-year ‘fashion adviser’

Facing calls to resign, the prime minister isn’t the only Cameron under scrutiny. It has...

‘I’ll be watching you’: The Police feat. Cameron helpfully explain Snoopers’ Charter (VIDEO)

A new video has enlisted the musical help of ‘The Police’ to explain Britain’s controversial...

‘Cameron shouldn’t just resign… he should be sent to prison!’ Ken Livingstone tells RT...

Prime Minister David Cameron should be sent to prison for profiting from shares in his...

Edward Snowden: ‘Demand Cameron’s resignation over tax dodging’

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has urged the British people to demand Prime Minister David Cameron’s...

David Cameron Faces Calls to Resign After Finally Admitting He Had Shares in Offshore...

After a week in which he has been forced into making daily public statements, British Prime Minister David Cameron finally admitted in a TV...

Cameron’s haven hypocrisy? PM pushed for offshore trusts to be shielded from EU regulation

Besieged Prime Minister David Cameron is under fire yet again after a 2013 letter was...

#CurseDavidCameron trends as PM admits to profiting from Panama fund

Hundreds of sarcastic “curses” appeared on social media as speculation on David Cameron’s involvement in...
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Video: Cameron admits he profited from father’s offshore fund

Britain's Prime Minister has admitted that he profited from his father's offshore fund, that avoided ever paying taxes in the UK. RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air...

Cameron comes clean on father’s offshore trust, admits profiting from tax haven

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has admitted that he has benefited from shares in an...

How much are you worth, Dave? Panama Leaks hint at vast personal wealth for...

Shaken by the Panama Leaks, Prime Minister David Cameron has been forced to deny he...

Project Fear gets personal: Cameron equates Brexit to ‘self-harm’

David Cameron compares leaving the EU to ‘self-harm,’ a shipping lobby warns of a post-EU...

Private matter? That’s rich! Edward Snowden deals Cameron a Twitter takedown

David Cameron has been called out for hypocrisy by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden after the...

Cameron's dad, senior Tories’ offshore asset dealings exposed & UK media still focus on...

Sections of the British public have slammed their local media outlets for ignoring the fact...

Atomic jihad: Terrorists seek nuclear material to kill ‘as many as possible’ – Cameron

Terrorists are seeking atomic materials to kill “as many people as they possibly could,” British...

Are the kids alright? It’s tough growing up in Cameron’s Britain

Growing up was never easy, but a spate of recent studies show that in Tory...

Is David Cameron sacrificing British steel to keep China happy?

Prime Minister David Cameron has been accused of jeopardizing Europe’s steel industry as a ‘thank...

'Dithering' Cameron bans SAS from hunting ISIS chiefs

Britain’s fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) is being derailed because of Prime Minister...

Petition to ban 'dangerous' Cameron from re-entering UK receives over 23k signatures

More than 23,000 people have signed a petition to stop British Prime Minister David Cameron...

Send warships to Libya, break migrant trafficking ‘business model’ – Cameron

Warships are needed to disrupt people smugglers and stem the flow of migrants and refugees...

Saudi executions: Cameron must rescue death row juveniles, says Reprieve

Three Saudi juveniles arrested for protesting, tortured into confessing and sentenced to death could still be saved if British Prime Minister David Cameron intervenes,...
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Video: ‘Sh*t Show’: Obama blames Cameron & Sarkozy for ‘mess’ in post-Gaddafi Libya

US President Barack Obama has blamed UK Prime Minister David Cameron and other European leaders for the current chaos in Libya, saying he had...

All in this together, Mum! Austerity hits home as Cameron’s mother loses job

Prime Minister David Cameron’s own mother has lost her job as austerity measures imposed by...
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Video: Meria Heller: “Cameron Name Dropping David Icke Tells Me The Establishment Is...

This Youtube Channel, associated Website and its content is copyright of The Richie Allen Show – ©The Richie Allen Show 2014. All rights reserved. Via...

David Cameron Running Scared of David Icke?

Mick Meaney (RINF) - Today during a speech  about France's Brexit, prime minister David Cameron lashed out at prominent researcher and author, David Icke. According to a...

David Cameron and the one party state dream that is becoming reality

“The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time,...
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Video: Boris for PM? Brexit-backing mayor is bookies’ favorite to replace Cameron

Britain's Prime Minister is struggling to contain what seems to be a mutiny in his own Conservative party - over the UK's deal with...
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Video: UK Prime Minister Cameron Sets Trap For Himself Over Pledge to Leave EU

Economist John Weeks discusses the upcoming 'Brexit' referendum, arguing for reforming the European Union instead of leaving - a position also favored by ... Via...

Cameron: Reformed EU in UK’s best interest

British Prime Minister David Cameron has issued fresh warning against his country leaving the European Union. Cameron, who keeps lauding a recent deal with the...
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Video: ‘A way to frighten people’: Cameron to warn Brexit will bring Calais ‘Jungle’...

The front page of Britain's Telegraph newspaper carries the headline .. "leaving the EU will bring the Calais Jungle to Kent." That warning comes...

Cameron’s EU ‘campaign of fear’

The British Prime Minister David Cameron warned on Monday that thousands of refugees may enter Britain if it leaves the European Union.  Cameron’s position...
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Video: ‘Too low, too slow, too narrow’: UK economists slam Cameron’s refugee policy

The Cologne Institute for Economic research has issued some alarming figures showing that the total estimated aid for refugees for this year and the...

Cameron under pressure over Google deal

Pressure is mounting on British Prime Minister David Cameron over a back tax deal agreed by Internet group Google. During a hot debate in the...

Video: Alex Scott-Samuel On David Cameron’s Plan To Socially Cleanse Britain In The Hunger...

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Cameron Tells Muslim Women: Improve Your English or You May Have to Leave UK

Prime Minister's new language test called 'dog-whistle politics at its best' by Lauren McCauley In a move being pilloried as racially coded and misguided, British Prime Minister...

Hypocrite David Cameron defends selling arms to outrageous Saudi regime

David Cameron has voiced support for the controversial Saudi-led air-strike campaign in Yemen and dismissed concerns that Riyadh is funneling funds to Islamic State. Speaking...

‘David Cameron is dead’: Radio presenter confuses PM with Bowie in live gaffe

Heart FM newsreader Fiona Winchester accidently announced the death of Prime Minister David Cameron instead of music legend David Bowie live on air, it...

Video: James Scott On Reporting David Cameron For War Crimes & Why Scottish Referendum...

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Corbyn challenges Cameron to annual TV debates

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has challenged Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron to take part in annual televised debates, events usually reserved for election...

Cameron ‘urged to act’ after US bans British Muslim family from Disneyland trip

Prime Minister David Cameron has been urged to challenge the United States after a British family of 11 was stopped from visiting Disneyland in...
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Video: Most Tory MPs leaning towards Brexit, Cameron said to issue pro-EU dossier

Ahead of the EU referendum in 2016, the UK ruling party currently appears divided. Most Conservative MPs are strongly leaning towards exiting the bloc,...

David Cameron’s Christmas Crusade: More Killing

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and his Cabinet Ministers are rigidly consistent in one thing — their inconsistency. On July 20th this year, Defence Minister...
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Video: UK Begins Bombing Syria After Pro-War Vote; Cameron Accuses Corbyn of Being “Terrorist...

British warplanes have begun bombing targets in Syria just hours after British lawmakers voted 397 to 223 to support Prime Minister David Cameron's plan...

Military chiefs warned Cameron against using 70,000 ‘moderate’ rebels figure

Ministry of Defence (MoD) bosses warned Prime Minister David Cameron against claiming there are 70,000 moderate Syrian rebels ready to fight Islamic State (IS,...

David Cameron Confirms ISIL Is Defeating Democracy In The West

David Cameron told MPs that bombing so-called Islamic State in Syria will “keep the British people safe” as MPs debated the case for military...

Cameron brands Corbyn ‘terrorist sympathizer’ for opposing Syria airstrikes

Fierce exchanges between Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Prime Minister David Cameron foreshadow a full day of heated debate as British MPs prepare to...

Britain’s David Cameron Wants To Use Bombs To Prospect For Gold In Syria

John Chuckman   (RINF) - Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labour Party, is a man of genuine integrity and honesty in his opposition to British...

Class, War and David Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said it is time for Britain to join air strikes against Islamic State in Syria (ISIS). After the...
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Video: ‘Cameron’s claims on anti-ISIS airstrikes are deceit’: fmr ambassador to Syria

Prime Minister David Cameron has made his case for extending UK airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) from Iraq into Syria. He has...

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Video: ‘More money, more fighter jets’: Cameron to increase UK military budget to counter...

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Video: Cameron: Brexit could pose national security risks

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Video: Boris Johnson to replace David Cameron as UK PM being stage managed BBC5Live...

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Video: Violent extremist, David Cameron’s UK arms firms making loadsamoney from Yemen slaughter

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Video: ‘Cameron’s anti-encryption moves ill-thought out, leave no safe spaces to communicate’

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No 2nd vote on Scottish independence: Cameron

British Prime Minister David Cameron has dismissed the possibility of another referendum on Scottish independence, saying Scots had once rejected a breakaway from the UK.

“There isn't going to be another referendum. We had the referendum and the SNP (Scottish National Party) aren't pushing for another referendum actually,” Cameron said in an interview with Channel 4 News on Sunday.

Referring to the last year’s independence vote, Cameron said, "Scotland voted emphatically to stay in the United Kingdom.”

In the referendum, held on September 18, 2014, Scots voted 55-45 percent to preserve the 307-year-old political union with England.

Following the vote, the British government announced the formation of a commission tasked with overseeing the process to take forward the devolution commitments on further powers for the Scottish parliament.

“Now what we need to do is bring the United Kingdom together. We are going to do that by … delivering the devolution settlement in Scotland, keeping all the pledges that were made,” the UK premier said.

Scottish First Minister and Leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon (C) poses for photographs in front of the Forth Bridge in Queensferry, west of Edinburgh, Scotland on May 9, 2015. (AFP)

The remarks came despite a huge rise in support for the SNP in the 2015 UK general elections, in which the pro-independence party won 56 out of the nation's 59 seats.

The Conservatives, led by Cameron, also secured 331 seats in the UK's 650-seat parliament, allowing them to govern without the need for a coalition or agreement with other parties.

SSM/NT/AS

Cameron to announce cabinet Monday

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is working hard to finalize the list of his cabinet by Monday.

Reports say, Cameron is spending the weekend to finalize his first all-Conservative cabinet after his party achieved an all-out majority in general elections on Thursday.

The Conservatives managed to secure 331 seats of parliament against Labour with 232 seats. The result was relatively shocking for everybody as polls predicted a neck and neck race. 

Cameron has already reappointed Chancellor George Osborne as first secretary of state.

Meanwhile Theresa May, Philip Hammond and Michael Fallon retain their jobs at the Home Office, Foreign Office and defence. Other announcements are due on Monday.

MH/MH

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Cameron’s crackdown: PM targets UK immigrants

Published time: March 25, 2013 13:59
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.(AFP Photo / Andrew Cowie)

Jobless immigrants will have UK government support payments ripped from their hands after six months. Further measures are to come into force preventing foreign entrants from even being put on a waiting list for social housing for two to five years.

Immigrants from EU states residing in Britain will lose their jobseekers’ allowance – a weekly government support payment- and other benefits, if they cannot prove that they’ve actively been looking for employment, David Cameron said in a speech on Monday.

He said that concerns that immigrants “take advantage of our generosity” were not just legitimate, "but right," adding that in the past, the UK had been a soft-touch.

Non-nationals will have to devise a way of proving that they have a ‘genuine chance’ of finding work. However, exactly how this would be done in practice is unclear. The ‘habitual residence’ test, sat by migrants who want financial support from the government, will also be made increasingly difficult.

Extra tests will have to be taken by people applying for social housing. Once the measures come into force it could take anything up to five years for residents of an area to even be put on a waiting list for a home.

However, Cameron said that he was “putting the welfare of the child at the heart of the...process”

There will be a clampdown on access to healthcare, as well as in housing and benefits payment. Immigrants entering the country from outside the EU will be forced to demonstrate evidence of medical insurance, and the NHS – a traditionally free institution - will impose charges for doctor visits. Potential immigrants entering to gain access to healthcare have had the label ‘health tourists’ slapped on them.

Earlier this month, it was announced that immigrants entering Britain may be forced to pay a deposit fee upon entering the country, which would only be reimbursed when they leave the UK, and only if they haven’t used its health service.

Even harsher measures are to be imposed on illegal immigrants. Steps are being taken to prevent illegal immigrants from getting credit cards or driving licenses, and their employers and landlords could be fined. Cameron said they were "doubling the fines levied against employers who employ illegal workers."

“Once we’ve found them we’re going to make it easier to remove them,” Cameron said. He added that he would ensure faster deportation, saying that “wherever possible” people would be deported first, and could appeal the decision second.

The new policies will come into force in 2014. The coalition's reforms would give Britain the toughest controls in the world, according to Conservative Minister of State for Immigration Mark Harper, who spoke to Sky News on Sunday.  

Cameron said that immigration got ‘badly out of control’ under Labour.

“Immigration has to be properly controlled,” he argued. “Under the last government this simply wasn’t the case. Immigration was far too high.”

However, net migration into Britain has fallen by a third in recent years, from 247,000 in June 2011 to 163,000 in 2012, according the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Additionally, their valuable contribution to the UK economy has been pointed out.

“Nothing wrong with debating immigration. But lets [sic] not omit the fact that immigrants put 6% more in to UK GDP than they take out,” said Parmjit Dhanda , former Labour MP, on Twitter. 

Cameron said that he wanted to train young British people to fill the skills gap, while saying that he was "rolling out the red carpet" to bright foreign students and entrepreneurs.

Last week, Business Secretary Vince Cable warned that restricting immigration would damage the UK economy.

The increasingly hard stance is shared by the country’s main three political parties. In light of the Eastleigh by-election results in February in which UKIP –a party renowned for its hard stance on immigration – won. All three major UK political parties are now cracking down on social support from the government; Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg voiced support for the entry fee on Friday, suggesting it could be as much as 1,000 pounds.

“We need stronger action against illegal immigration and a more effective system for the migration we need,” tweeted Labour Press Team’s Chris Bryant. “The immigration system just isn't working- fewer illegal immigrants are being stopped or sent back,” he said, going on to add that the test of the PM’s speech was whether he could stop the government’s expanding list of practical failings on immigration

“As we have said for some time, Britain does not need an arms race on immigration rhetoric, it needs practical measures to make sure the system works and immigration is properly managed and controlled,”
said Yvette Cooper MP Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary on Monday.

Cameron’s spokesman spent around 50 minutes prior to the speech fielding considerably skeptical questions from the press regarding whether Cameron's measures will have any impact whatsoever, according to the Guardian.

The UKIP is claiming credit for the outcry.

“Cameron will only create a whole pile of bureaucracy that will affect everyone in the UK, cost the taxpayer millions and will still be riddled with loopholes and therefore totally ineffective,” said UKIP’s Nigel Farage in a statement on Monday.

He went on to declare that the only way to prevent wide-scale immigration is for Britain to leave the EU.

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David Cameron Accused Of Peddling Immigration Benefits ‘Myths’

David Cameron has been accused of peddling "myths" about the number of immigrants who claim benefits in Britain, after he said he wanted to stop the UK being a "soft touch".

In a major speech on Monday, the prime minister announced that from next year, arrivals from the European Union will be stripped of jobseekers benefits after six months unless they can prove they have been actively looking for a job and stand a "genuine chance" of finding one.

The government is pledging to beef up the "range and depth" of questions in the habitual residence test, which checks that people meet residence requirements for housing and income-related benefits.

However Cameron has been accused of offering empty anti-immigration rhetoric amid fears that Ukip poses a significant electoral threat in 2015.

His speech follows similar interventions on immigration by Labour leader Ed Miliband and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

Sarah Mulley from the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank said that the UK was "not a soft touch" and that EU migrants are half as likely to claim out of work benefits as British nationals are.

"Migrants in general and European migrants pay more in to the system than they take out, that's largely because they are young people who are working," she told HuffPost UK.

Mulley said that while in theory the British welfare system and NHS was more open to EU migrants than other European systems were, this did not mean it was happening in practise. "The fact is it doesn't happen, at least not in any significant scale," she explained.

Official statistics show that migrants represent about 13% of all workers, but only 7% percent of out-of-work claimants and that migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) represent about 9-10% of all workers, but about 5% of out-of-work claimants.

Gillian Guy, chief executive at national charity Citizens Advice, said while it was important that the welfare system is fair, politicians "must be careful not to encourage myths or misconceptions about who benefits most from the welfare system".

"EU migrants are more likely to be in work and less likely to claim benefits than British residents. Overall, they are net contributors to the economy, putting in much more than they take out. These plain facts must not be obscured by political rhetoric," she said.

And Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, also said immigrants were "significantly less likely" to claim benefits than people born in the UK - and that those coming from EU countries put more into the economy than they took out.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that arrivals were mostly younger people whereas the bulk of spending went on healthcare and pensions for older people.

"All the evidence suggests that people who come here from within the European Union make a substantial net contribution to the public finances - they pay in far more than they take out," he said.

He also played down the impact of health tourism as a "minuscule" part of a wider funding issue.

"The problem with people coming from outside the UK in order to sponge off our health service - that may be a problem and we should certainly deal with abuse - but the figures tell us that they impose rather small costs on the health service and certainly, compared to the scale of the problem, it is minuscule," he said.

Cameron said the government had already taken "concrete steps" to bring down immigration and wanted to put in place more restrictions.

"Right now the message through the benefit system is all wrong. It says if you can’t find a job or drop out of work early, the British taxpayer owes you a living for as long as you like no matter how little you have contributed to social security since you arrived," he said.

"My view is simple. Ending the something for nothing culture needs to apply to immigration as well as welfare."

According to the fact-checking website FullFact.org the overall relative generosity of the UK's benefits system in comparison to other EU states can be measured in a number of different ways.

British welfare payments are no more generous than most of Europe when both public and private spending (including private pensions and healthcare) is taken into account.

However UK is at the top of Europe's league table for benefits spending when counting the portion of spending administered by central government.

Related on HuffPost:

‘Cameron, Clegg and Miliband All Look The Same’

Ukip leader Nigel Farage insisted the party could win votes from across the political spectrum as he rallied activists on Saturday. Speaking at the party's spring conference in Exeter, Farage said there was a "wholesale rejection of the career politic...

Will Cameron And Salmond Go Head To Head?

Nationalists have challenged the Prime Minister to take on Alex Salmond in a head-to-head debate in the run up to next year's independence referendum. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said David Cameron had a "duty" to argue his case against the ...

David Cameron Tells Tory MPs He ‘Called Ed Miliband’s Bluff’ On Leveson

David Cameron told a meeting of Conservative MPs in Westminster on Monday that he had "called the bluff" of Ed Miliband during negotiations over the future regulation of the press, it has been reported. The prime minister insisted that dramatically pu...

Leveson Talks Break Down, David Cameron To Force Commons Vote On Royal Charter

David Cameron is heading for almost certain defeat in the Commons on Monday after he blew up cross-party talks on implementing the Leveson proposals for press regulation.

Instead the prime minister has scheduled a showdown vote in which MPs will be asked to support his alternative plan for a Royal Charter.

However both the Lib Dem and Labour leadership support the statutory underpinning of regulation as proposed by Leveson and as such Cameron does not have an obvious parliamentary majority on the issue.

Hacked Off called the failure to agree "a shameless betrayal of the victims of press abuse".

It is unclear whether Nick Clegg will tell his MPs to vote with Labour to defeat the Tory proposals, however it would be extremely awkward for the deputy prime minister to abandon his previous strong support for Leveson.

The outcome of the vote is made more uncertain as many Tory MPs are in favour of the Leveson plan, while some Labour MPs are opposed to it.

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In a hastily-arranged press conference in 10 Downing Street, Cameron announced that the cross-party talks had "concluded without agreement" after a conference call between himself, Clegg and Ed Miliband this morning.

He said that the proposals for an independent body, established by Royal Charter, to oversee the system of press self-regulation would provide "the toughest regulation of the press that this country has ever seen".


John Prescott
So Cameron has unwittingly turned Monday's Leveson vote into a confidence vote on his leadership. What could possibly go wrong? #mayday

Newspapers would refuse to sign up to a new system which is underpinned by statute, as recommended by Lord Justice Leveson and advocated by Labour, Lib Dems and the Hacked Off campaign group, he warned.

"The route I have set out is the fastest possible way to deliver the strong self-regulation body that Leveson proposed that can put in place million-pound fines, prominent apologises and get justice for victims in this country," said the prime minister.

"The deal is there to be done, it is the fastest way to get proper justice for victims."

And a senior Lib Dem source said that Cameron had made the decision to pull the plug on cross-party talks "unilaterally" and the Liberal Democrats were now considering their next step.

"We were very surprised and disappointed," said the source. "We thought we were making real progress and inching towards a deal, but the Prime Minister has unilaterally decided to pull the plug on cross-party talks.

"We are still prepared to work with politicians of all parties, including the Conservatives, who want to work with others to implement Leveson."

Asked whether Lib Dems would vote with Labour against the Royal Charter proposals on Monday, the source said: "We are going to have to talk about it and see what we do. Nothing has been agreed in government."

A senior Labour source said: "The prime minister's decision is very disappointing. We still hope for an agreement. We still believe there can be an agreement. We urge the Prime Minister to reflect on his actions."

Index on Censorship chief executive Kirsty Hughes backed the PM's move, and said he was right not to make a "shoddy compromise with Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband, which would have meant statutory underpinning of press regulation.

"A tough new independent regulator whether set up by Royal Charter, or preferably by a route with no political involvement at all, is a big step forward compared to the previous system of self-regulation.

"Cameron’s decision to go to a vote has clearly been forced by the threat of wrecking amendments being added into several bills, including one that is already threatening the passage of the Defamation Bill, which Leveson himself said should be kept separate from his work."

Professor Brian Cathcart, Executive Director, Hacked Off said Cameron had “chosen to throw his lot in with powerful national newspaper groups, whose actions were condemned in the Leveson Report.

“He allowed the newspapers to rewrite Leveson so much that they would have been able to pick and choose which complaints their self regulator dealt with and would have given the self regulator little power to tell a paper to give an apology or a correction due prominence.

“Worse than that, the editors would have been able to write their own rules and handpick the people who ran the regulator.

“Cameron is trying to raise a smokescreen to hide his dirty dealings behind closed doors with powerful press barons who don’t want to have to be accountable when their newspapers –to use Lord Justice Leveson’s words – ‘wreak havoc in the lives of innocent people’”.

Related on HuffPost:

PMQS: Miliband Mocks Cameron: ‘What Can He Organise In A Brewery?’

Ed Miliband unleashed his best ever gag at the start of prime minister's questions on Wednesday, mocking David Cameron for reports he has been forced to abandon his plans to introduce a minimum price for alcoholic drinks.

"In the light of his u-turn on alcohol pricing can the prime minister tell us if there is anything he could organise in a brewery?" the Labour leader said to roars of laughter from his MPs.

It has been reported that opposition to the policy from his cabinet, including from former health secretary Andrew Lansley, education secretary Michael Gove and home secretary Theresa May - who is said to be positioning herself to challenge for the Tory leadership - Cameron has had to drop the plan.

Miliband joked: "He obviously could not tell us about his policy on alcohol minimum unit pricing, I think the reality is he has just been overruled by the home secretary on this one."

The barb did not go down well with May, who, stood next to the Speaker's chair rather than sat on the government front bench, responded with her now trademark 'death stare'.

Generated image from gifs generated with the Imgflip Animated GIF Generator

Downing Street has refused to say whether plans for minimum pricing had been dropped, insisting the policy will be unveiled in "due course".

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The prime minister's official spokesperson said there was a "real problem with deep discounting and the impact of anti-social behaviour" that had to be tackled.

During PMQs Cameron was directly confronted in the Commons by Tory MP Sarah Wollaston - a former GP - who said abandoning minimum pricing would "critically undermine future efforts".

He told her: "There is a problem with deeply discounted alcohol in supermarkets and other stores and I am absolutely determined that we will deal with this.

"We published proposals, we are looking at the consultation and the results to those proposals, but be in no doubt, we've got to deal with the problem of having 20p or 25p cans of lager available in supermarkets. It's got to change."

A confident Miliband, who enjoyed one of his best PMQs performances to date, said reported cabinet splits showed the government was "falling apart".

"A week out from the Budget, they have got an economic policy that's failing, a prime minister that makes it up as he goes along and all the time, it's the country that is paying the price," he said.

Loading Slideshow...

  • Theresa May

    Current position: Home Secretary Rides: "Beyond The Borders" Odds to win: 4/1 For: Politically, May is a shrewd and successful operator who has done a credible job as home secretary, a role that has tripped up many previous politicians. Against: A Tory minister recently described May as "100% charmless" and the only benefit that her appointment as leader would bring would be "net migration".

  • Boris Johnson

    Current position: Mayor of London Rides: "Bumbling Oratory" Odds to win: 5/1 For: Boris is rarer thing than a <a href="http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sugarbushdrafthorse.com%2Frevival.html">Sugarbush Draft Horse,</a> he's a "popular Tory". An <a href="http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.co.uk%2F2012%2F10%2F07%2Fboris-johnson-preferred-to-david-cameron_n_1945895.html">opinion poll last October</a> outed him as the people's choice to replace Cameron. Unfortunately, it's not up to the people... Against: Johnson has all but ruled out taking over from Cameron before 2015, wary that undermining him could scupper any leadership hopes. Just like what happened to Lord Heseltine in the wake of Margaret Thatcher stepping down...

  • Michael Gove

    Current position: Secretary of State for Education Rides: "Baccalaureate Backtrack" Odds to win: 9/1 For: Gove is highly regarded within the Tory party as charming, polite and capable. Against: He has taken a bruising both from the public and other Tories for some of his proposals as Secretary of State for Education.

  • Philip Hammond

    Current position: Defence Secretary Rides: "Stripped Down Defender" Odds to win: 10/1 For: Erm... Against: Recently received a "slapping down" from Danny Alexander for publicly complaining about defence cuts. Also, he's possibly the most "beige" of all the prospective candidates.

  • Adam Afriyie

    Current position: MP for Windsor Rides: "Outside Upstart" Odds to win: 25/1 For: Afriyie is part of the new generation of Tories with fewer qualms about toppling their leader. One Tory minister said: "<a href="http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.telegraph.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fpolitics%2F9916975%2FTories-too-afraid-of-fresh-chaos-for-leadership-coup.html">They don't have the same memory or experience to hold them back</a>. "And if they start to think they're going to lose their seats at the election, they could get a bit panicked." Against: Was widely ridiculed earlier this year when the relative unknown was tipped for a leadership challenge. Also, no-one seems to have told him about his own challenge until he read about it in the papers and "<a href="http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.guardian.co.uk%2Fpolitics%2F2013%2Fjan%2F31%2Fadam-afriyie-pm-in-waiting">nearly choked on my Cornflakes</a>".

  • Liam Fox

    Current position: Rides: "Spend Wisely" Odds to win: 33/1 For: Dr Fox has become the unofficial spokesman for those Tories disaffected with the current leadership with a number of public statements criticising their direction on austerity. Against: Is it really a good move to appoint someone who was forced to resign from his job as defence minister for <a href="http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.co.uk%2F2011%2F10%2F09%2Fliam-fox-resigns_n_1002156.html">allowing a close friend improper access to the highest level of government affairs?</a> Additionaly, <a href="http://redirect.viglink.com?key=11fe087258b6fc0532a5ccfc924805c0&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.co.uk%2F2013%2F03%2F11%2Fliam-fox-tory-leadership_n_2851902.html">Fox recently said</a>: "I think there is no chance of us having a leadership election in the Conservative Party before the election, I think that would be madness."

Earlier on HuffPost:

David Cameron Reprimanded For Making Misleading Economy Claim, Again

David Cameron has been rebuked for giving a misleading account of his government's economic record, after he claimed the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has said austerity measures were not to blame for the lack of growth.

Yesterday the prime minister delivered a pre-Budget speech in which he insisted the government would not abandon its current economic plan. He lay the blame for the country's economic woes on global factors rather than the policies of the Treasury since 2010.

"As the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has made clear growth has been depressed by the financial crisis, the problems in the Eurozone and a 60 per cent rise in oil prices between August 2010 and April 2011," he said.

"They are absolutely clear that the deficit reduction plan is not responsible. In fact, quite the opposite."

However on Friday Robert Chote, the chairman of the OBR, has wrote to Cameron to complain this was misleading.

"For the avoidance of doubt, I think it is important to point out that every forecast published by the OBR since the June 2010 Budget has incorporated the widely held assumption that tax increases and spending cuts reduce economic growth in the short term, " he said.

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Chote said economic growth "has been much weaker since the end of 2010 than we and most other forecasters expected in June 2010" and that it was "clearly possible" that it was in part due to the government's austerity measures.

The OBR was set up by George Osborne in 2010 to provide independent economic growth forecasts to avoid the Treasury being accused of fixing the figures as had happened in the past.

It is not the first time the prime minister has been accused of making misleading claims about the government's economic record.

In January the UK Statistics Authority told him off for using a party political broadcast to claim that the government was "paying down Britain's debts" as the country's level of debt was actually rising.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The OBR has today again highlighted external inflation shocks, the eurozone and financial sector difficulties as the reasons why their forecasts have come in lower than expected. That is precisely the point the prime minister was underlining."

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said Cameron had "an obligation to be straight with people and not play fast and loose with the facts".

“This is another embarrassing rebuke for the Prime Minister, just 24 hours after his panicky and defensive speech on the economy. Deep spending cuts and tax rises have reduced economic growth, as the OBR says, and so it was deeply misleading for David Cameron to claim otherwise."

Related on HuffPost:

Cameron Denounces ‘Aggressive’ Tax Avoidence

David Cameron launched another broadside at "aggressive" tax avoidance today, on the first day of a trade visit to India. The prime minister said the Government wanted to keep business taxes low, but in return businesses must accept that they have to ...

David Cameron To Star In One Direction Video..

David Cameron will make his latest Comic Relief appearance by starring in a music video with teen heart-throbs One Direction, a spokesman for the charity said.

Cameron has followed in the footsteps of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in getting involved in the fundraiser, which has raised £800 million since 1985 to help alleviate poverty.

one direction

David Cameron is to team up with One Direction for Comic Relief

He appears in the official video for One Direction's official Comic Relief single, a cover version medley of Blondie's One Way or Another and the Undertones' Teenage Kicks.

"Yes, he is in it," the spokesman said, but was unable to say what his role included.

The Prime Minister did not appear in clips from the video shown during last night's Let's Dance for Comic Relief.

Tony Blair starred alongside comic Catherine Tate in a for the charity fundraiser in the last months of his premiership it 2007, when he uttered Tate's Lauren character's "Am I bovvered?" catchphrase as she visited Downing Street for work experience.

Brown appeared in a comedy sketch with James Corden and with boyband JLS in 2011 - after he was voted out of office in the 2010 general election.

Cameron also appeared in that year's programme. The MasterChef segment saw him make approving noises as "chefs" Miranda Hart, Ruby Wax and Claudia Winkleman served him a three-course meal.

Welsh Secretary Backed By Cameron Despite ‘Offensive’ Gay Comments

David Cameron backed Welsh Secretary David Jones despite the cabinet minister being accused of being "hugely offensive" after he appeared to suggest gay couples could not provide a safe home for children.

Downing Street pointed out that gay marriage was "free vote issue" after Jones said on ITV's Face to Face he regarded marriage "as an institution that has developed over many centuries, essentially for the provision of a warm and safe environment for the upbringing of children, which is clearly something that two same-sex partners can’t do."

welsh secretary

Welsh Secretary David Jones has come under fire

Asked whether Mr Cameron found the comments acceptable, a Downing Street source said: "Gay marriage and gay adoption are both conscience issues and, as such, have been treated as free votes.

"The Prime Minister is a supporter of both."

Labour's shadow equalities minister Kate Green branded Jones' remarks "hugely insulting, offensive and wrong".

Andrew White, the director of Stonewall Cymru, said: "We’re saddened that the secretary of state for Wales should make such an offensive and inaccurate remark."

"There are many different types of family in Wales today, including many same sex couples raising children. It’s deeply undermining to families and children when they hear this sort of ill-informed comment."

Jones was one of two Tory cabinet ministers, along with environment secretary Owen Paterson, to vote against David Cameron's plan to introduce same-sex marriages last week.

The Clwyd West MP told ITV that his opposition to gay marriage did not mean he was "in any way opposed to stable and committed same-sex partnerships" and rejected the suggestion of homophobia.

"I've got a lot of people in my life who are very important to me who are gay, anyone who knows me would never accuse me of that [homophobia]," he said.

Responding to the criticism Jones said in a statement: "I was asked on the Face to Face programme why I voted against the same sex marriage proposals. I replied that I had done so on the basis that I took the view that marriage is an institution that has developed over the centuries so as to provide a safe and warm environment for the upbringing of children.

"I made the point of stressing that I was fully supportive of committed same sex relationships. I also strongly approve of civil partnerships.

"I did not say in the interview that same sex partners should not adopt children and that is not my view.

"I simply sought to point out that, since same sex partners could not biologically procreate children, the institution of marriage was one that, in my opinion, should be reserved to opposite sex partners."

‘I Like My Curries Pretty Hot’: David Cameron Heads For India

David Cameron will head for India next week, Downing Street has announced. The Prime Minister will lead a delegation of British business leaders as part of his bid to make the UK and India "one of the great partnerships of the 21st century." In interv...

Cameron Condemns MEPs For ‘Secret’ EU Budget Vote

David Cameron has challenged Ed Miliband over whether Labour MEPs will vote against a cut in the EU Budget, amid fears the European Parliament may veto the deal. Last week European leaders agreed to cut the EU's budget for the next seven years to 908b...

74 Pictures Of David Cameron Stroking His Chinny Chin Chin

While innocently researching something completely different, we couldn't help but notice David Cameron has a habit even his nearest and dearest have never noticed - he absolutely loves stroking his chin. "Why?" was our first question, before we found ...

David Cameron Auctions Off Justin Bieber

David Cameron has auctioned off Justin Bieber for £10,000, without the pop star's knowledge.

In a curious mix of cautious Conservatism and candy-floss coated Canadian crooning, the PM offerred exclusive backstage passes as part of a Tory fundraiser.

A wealthy donor won the bid but one person has yet to be told of the sale- Bieber himself.

justin bieber cameron

Four lucky girls will get to meet the star

The Sun claim the singer wasn't told about the deal, which has prompted Labour MP Steve McCabe to slam the party over the "cynical" stunt.

The teenage pop sensation is playing London's O2 arena on March 7th and his record label donated the prize of "every girl’s dream" to "meet face to face with the gorgeous teen heart-throb."

But the meet and greet is probably the last thing on Bieber's mind, as he reportedly spent time over the weekend with his on/off girlfriend Selena Gomez.

Us Weekly claims the former Disney star was seen leaving her ex's Los Angeles home early on Saturday morning.

A source added: "It never ends. We'll see. It's such drama with them." Young love eh?

Loading Slideshow...

  • Musicians Usher, left, and Justin Bieber arrive at the 22nd Annual Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, March 28, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

  • Musicians Usher, left, and Justin Bieber arrive at the 22nd Annual Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday, March 28, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

  • Justin Bieber performs at the Pepsi Superbowl Fan Jam Concert in Miami Beach, Florida.

  • Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber performs with Drake at the Juno Awards Sunday, April 18, 2009

  • Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs live in concert during the NRJ showcase on the 1st floor of the Eilffel Tower in Paris, France

  • Paris Jackson and Justin Bieber during a ceremony honoring the late Michael Jackson with Hand and Footprints in Cement, held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, on January 26, 2012, in Los Angeles.

  • Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs live during a showcase at the Universale Headquaters in Paris, France.

  • Justin Bieber arrives at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

  • Justin Bieber poses for photographs before a personal appearance at HMV in Westfield, west London. Over 1,500 fans turned up to try and meet the singer.

  • Justin Bieber performs live on stage at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas.

  • Canadian singer-songwriter Justin Bieber visits [email protected] in Toronto on Monday, Oct. 5, 2009. The Canadian Press Images/Christian Lapid

  • Justin Bieber and his girlfriend Selena Gomez

  • Justin Bieber with one of his idols, Sean Kingston

  • Justin Bieber with one of his many lady-friends, Kim Kardashian

  • Bieber fever

  • Justin Bieber

  • Justin Bieber

  • Justin Bieber

  • Justin Bieber

  • Justin Bieber

  • Justin Bieber

  • Justin Bieber

  • Justin Bieber

  • Justin Bieber

  • Justin Bieber

  • Justin Bieber

  • Justin Bieber

  • L-R: Smokey Robinson, Prince Michael Jackson Jr., Prince Michael Jackson II aka Blanket, Paris Jackson and Justin Bieber during the Michael Jackson Hand and Footprint Ceremony with the children of Michael Jackson making the impressions using shoes and sequined glove once worn by Michael Jackson, held at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California on January 26, 2012.

  • Canadian singer Justin Bieber arrives at the Cannes festival palace, to take part in the NRJ Music awards ceremony, in Cannes, southeastern France, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

Her Majesty’s “Post Imperial” Government in Crisis: Prime Minister Cameron in Blunderland

british empire

“The refuge of the morally, intellectually, artistically and economically bankrupt is war.”(Martin H.Fischer, 1879-1962.)

It has not been an auspicious couple of weeks for UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

His Cabinet colleagues, largely a bunch of millionaires, have accused the unemployed of being work-shy and a burden on the taxpayers – never mind that businesses are closing in near industrial numbers and that often hundreds, if not thousands, apply for one job. Additionally, according to the Literacy Trust: ” One in six people in the UK struggle with literacy. This means their literacy is below the level expected of an eleven year old … Men and women with poor literacy are least likely to be in full-time employment at the age of thirty.”

A junior Health Minister has accused the poor of being fat because, she has decided, they eat the wrong things.

The latter of course, implies that the overweight poor will be a further burden on Britain’s National Health Service, being more likely to develop chronic conditions. It seems this health fascism exempts government Ministers and politicians such as the Minister for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, who must flatten the tires and springs of his Ministerial limousine, along with other political rotundas, politicians who of course, live entirely at the taxpayers expense, from large salaries, with all financial outputs covered and health care.

David Cameron himself stated that without the health help he had received, often twenty four hours a day, for his little son Ivan, suffering a chronic condition which subsequently proved fatal, his family would have been unable to cope. Now under his government, the Health Service too is under government fire – slash and burn style. Cuts in welfare include attempting to force the very disabled, even potentially terminally ill back to work. Some have committed suicide.

Public anger and resentment is palpably mounting against pretty well all policies in a government seen as completely blind to the reality in Britain’s villages, towns and cities.

The government message of course is fiscal belt tightening, ”getting the economy back on track.”

Then the Prime Minister cancelled a long planned address in Europe on Britain and the EU (another mess) leapt on a ‘plane for Mali, a geographical stone’s throw away from the ruins of his last African foray, Libya, and announced support for France’s reckless insurgency, in one of the few countries the British have not invaded, plundered or colonised. So much for fiscal probity.

The opposition Labour Party’s Defence spokesman, Jim Murphy, commented of what rapidly became Operation Creep: “The UK commitment to Mali has grown from lending the French two transport aircraft, to the deployment of perhaps hundreds of troops to the region.” Most will be there, Cameron has assured, on a “training mission.”

In what should have been a mega reality check for anyone but the Prime Minister, former Labour Cabinet Minister, Frank Dobson, pointed out that: “The American catastrophe in Vietnam started off with a deployment of troops in a training capacity.”

From there he went to meddle in Algiers, popped in on the remains of Libya in a sixteen vehicle armed and armored motorcade, where he addressed a police training college (in english) and assured them that: “In building a new Libya you will have no greater friend than the United Kingdom. We will stand with you every step of the way.” That should send a chill down spines.

Cameron’s decision to fly to the Maghreb, wrote one commentator: “was a Blair-style statement that Britain intends to stay involved. Indeed, Cameron’s references to a ‘generational struggle’ make him sound remarkably similar to Tony Blair after 9/11.”

“I believe we are in the midst of a long struggle against murderous terrorists and a poisonous ideology that supports them,” he told the World Economic Forum in Davos on returning.

Whilst: “We’ve successfully put pressure on al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan, so al-Qaida franchises have been growing for years in Yemen, in Somalia” and across parts of Africa he warned. His predecessor, “Peace Envoy” Tony Blair, wanted by lawyers and others worldwide for his Iraq lies, cheered on Britain in Mali from the television studios.

It now transpires that David Cameron relies on Blair, who may yet be headed for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, as, seemingly some sort of mentor, from whom, it is reported, he has been taking personal advice.The Chancellor, George Osborne, is reported as referring to Blair as “the master.” (i)

Cameron is quoted as being: “very admiring of Blair, whom he regards as a nice person and has conviction.” With judgment like that there may be those who feel he would be dangerous in charge of a broom, yet alone a country.

Iraq’s ruins, widows, orphans, three million dead, five million displaced are testimony to Blair’s “conviction” and niceness, in this tenth anniversary of the invasion year and twenty second of the embargo, which Blair endorsed, helped sustain its strangulation, colluded with – with UK aircraft aiding the illegal US bombings, during his term in office, 1997-2007.

On Monday (4th February) David Cameron hosted Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai and President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan at a dinner at the Prime Ministerial country home, Chequers: “as part of his ongoing efforts to help to strengthen Afghanistan-Pakistan relations and promote regional peace and stability”, according to The Independent.

It would have been interesting to have been a fly on the wall as the canapés did the rounds. Ahead of this much touted mini summit, President Karzai gave lengthy interviews to the Guardian and ITN (ii.) It was to put it mildly, a bit of a broadside:

“In 2002 through 2006, Afghanistan had a lot better security. When we had our own presence there, with very little foreign troops, schools were open in Helmand and life was more secure”, said the President.

Moreover, whilst he appreciated “the sacrifices” and “contributions” of the British forces: “ … we also would like our allies in the west to recognise the immense sacrifices of the Afghan people in the last ten years, the immense loss of life and the suffering that the Afghan people put up with …”

Acknowledging corruption within the Afghan government and its agencies (indeed the allegations leveled at his own family and connections are a litany) he stated that: “in comparison to the corruption coming through the international donor contracts, and the way the money was spent (it was) really insignificant.” He gave examples.

Asked about the attacks by Afghan troops on coalition forces, he said it “pained” his Administration as a “serious breach of hospitality” for which Afghanistan is known, but: “ …there has to be a lot more cultural sensitivity by our allies when they send troops to Afghanistan. Plus much more.”

Given night raids, wholesale destruction of lives, livelihoods, homes, terrorism by Drones, his restraint was commendable, the more so since he and colleagues survived a US “friendly fire” missile attack in 2001, suffering serious injuries, his also involving damage to facial nerves, still sometimes noticeable.

Asked what stood in the way of progress in Afghanistan: “The risk is continuation of foreign interference …” Further: “The exit of foreign forces will not bring more violence … but a serious, strong, good reduction in violence will occur.” Earlier he had said: “On our own, as Afghans, we will be good. It’s the external factors that will determine the extent of progress and stability or the lack of it.”

On the planned departure of western troops from Afghanistan one comment was that perhaps the reason was: “ …that they have felt that there was no fight in Afghanistan from the very first day, that terrorism was not in Afghanistan to be found, that they had to go to the (Taliban’s) sanctuaries long time back, that they didn’t do that and since they cannot do that even today there is no point for them to stay in Afghanistan, so they would like to leave …” Ouch.

(It should be said that in the mid nineties Karzai not only worked with the Taliban, but they asked him to be their Ambassador to the United Narions.)

In a long interview there are certainly some enlightening lines. US and UK “progress” and conquest of “hearts and minds” over twelve years in Afghanistan seems to lie buried in that “graveyard of empires.”

The US is committed to “an enduring presence” in Afghanistan (it’s the minerals, stupid.) So far Hamid Karzai is talking a conciliatory line. They would perhaps be confined to the odd base, but in no towns or villages. Mr Karzai seems like a man who is capable of changing his mind.

It is to be hoped nothing went wrong with the menu of that bridge-building Prime Ministerial dinner. Britain has had another major food scandal, with horsemeat found in beefburgers – and pork in halal meat. Hope none found its way to Chequers to round off Cameron’s latest accident prone couple of weeks.

Notes

i. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/meet-my-nbf-david-cameron-and-tony-blair-become-chums-8478494.html

ii. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/04/hamid-karzai-interview-full-transcript?INTCMP=SRCH

Biden And Cameron In Downing Street Talks

US vice president Joe Biden has held talks at Downing Street amid renewed warnings from the Obama administration that it does not want Britain to leave the European Union. He sat down with prime minister David Cameron on the final leg of a short tour ...

Biden And Cameron In Downing Street Talks

US vice president Joe Biden has held talks at Downing Street amid renewed warnings from the Obama administration that it does not want Britain to leave the European Union. He sat down with prime minister David Cameron on the final leg of a short tour ...

US Vice President Joe Biden To Meet With Cameron

David Cameron is to meet US vice president Joe Biden on Tuesday amid warnings from the Obama administration that it does not want Britain to leave the European Union. Biden and his wife Jill arrived in the UK last night at the end of a short tour of E...

US Vice President Joe Biden To Meet With Cameron

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Cameron In Peace Talks Appeal To Taliban

David Cameron issued a direct appeal to the Taliban to enter peaceful talks on the future of Afghanistan after hosting talks at Chequers with Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari today. The prime minister said the two...

Conservative MPs urge Cameron to delay gay marriage vote, citing re-election worries

British Prime Minister David Cameron (AFP Photo / Justin Tallis)

British Prime Minister David Cameron (AFP Photo / Justin Tallis)

Members of UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party urged him to delay a parliamentary vote on gay marriage, warning it could harm his re-election bid. Conservative MPs are also preparing to defy Cameron’s plan to legalize gay marriage.

Opponents of the gay marriage bill have warned the issue could weaken the party and harm Cameron’s chances of re-election in 2015. Conservative association leader Geoffrey Vero called the bill a “dangerous risk to take with [Cameron’s] core supporters.”

A letter expressing disapproval of the bill signed by more than 20 chairs of local Conservative associations was sent to Downing Street on Sunday afternoon.

"We feel very strongly that the decision to bring this bill before parliament has been made without adequate debate or consultation with either the membership of the Conservative Party or with the country at large," the letter read. "Resignations from the party are beginning to multiply and we fear that, if enacted, this bill will lead to significant damage to the Conservative Party in the run-up to the 2015 election."

Around 180 MPs are prepared to defy Cameron’s plan to legalize gay weddings, the Sunday Telegraph reported. 

­

From civil union to a ‘great institution’

The Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill would allow same-sex couples to get married in both civil and religious ceremonies. The bill would also allow couples who have previously entered into civil partnerships to convert their relationship into a marriage, and enable them to change their legal gender without having to end their union.

Civil partnerships for same-sex couples are legal in the UK, and provide the same legal rights as marriage. However, gay marriage supporters have claimed the distinction implies that gays and lesbians are inferior.

Cameron has spoken passionately about his belief in allowing same-sex couples to marry: "I'm a massive supporter of marriage and I don't want gay people to be excluded from a great institution,” he said in a statement.

He even argued that gay marriages are in tune with Conservative values – a claim disputed by many in his party.

“I am far from happy about these matters. These days, marriage seems to be taken too lightly by too many and an important thing to me is not to have marriage vows whether civil or religious devalued,” Conservative Deputy Chief Whip John Randall wrote in the letter to Downing Street.

­

Playing politics

As Conservatives warn that the bill could harm Cameron’s re-election chances, it appears their fears may be warranted.

A poll conducted by ComRes found that 62 percent of British ethnic minority voters believe marriage should only be permitted between a man and a woman. Those same minority voters have been identified by the Conservatives as a key demographic in the next election.

Nearly 70 percent of black voters polled said they believed Cameron’s desire to legalize same-sex marriages was “more about making the Conservative Party look trendy and modern” than his personal convictions.

Despite the overwhelming disapproval from Conservative MPs, the bill has received strong support from most of the Cabinet and younger members of the party, who have written to Tory MPs urging them to vote in favor.

Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs are also largely in favor of the bill, which is expected to be approved in the House of Commons on Tuesday. The bill will then move to Parliament’s Upper House, the House of Lords, which is expected to vote on it in May. It will then return to the House of Commons for a second vote.

Marriage Tax Breaks: Cameron Faces Revolt

Tax breaks for married couples will not be part of next month's Budget, a senior Government source has said.

The news is likely to upset many Conservative backbenchers who have suggested the change should be included in Chancellor George Osborne's next Budget in return for their supporting plans to introduce gay marriage.

The Conservative general election manifesto pledged to introduce a marriage tax break, and the commitment was included in the coalition agreement.

It is expected that one member of a married couple or civil partnership would be allowed to transfer £750 of their tax-free personal allowance to their partner, reducing their tax bill. This would be worth around £150 a year to basic-rate taxpayers.

But the senior Government source flatly rejected the idea of a "quid pro quo" deal, and ruled out a marriage tax break featuring in the Budget.

"It won't be in the Budget but it will be in this Parliament," the source said. "This Budget obviously, with all that has happened in recent weeks and months, will be very much focused on growth in the economy".

Mr Cameron views the introduction of same-sex marriage - which is expected to split his MPs when it is put to a Commons vote next week - as the "Conservative Party delivering the promise it made".

"This is a difficult issue for some in the Conservative Party and he understands the strong feelings that people have, and of course it's a free vote," the source said.

"He is proud of the fact that it's a coalition Government with strong Conservative participation that is bringing forward a modern and progressive change.

"It is good to encourage people to come together and stay together."

The source also said Mr Osborne had the "full confidence" of the Prime Minister - insisting he will still be Chancellor at the 2015 general election.

It came as some MPs are said to be circulating a letter demanding that Mr Osborne is replaced as the economy continues to falter.

"He is an extremely successful Chancellor. He is battling very difficult economic circumstances," the source said.

"George Osborne will be Chancellor at the next general election."

The issue of gay marriage is causing Conservative party members to quit in significant numbers, according to The Times.

Backbenchers insist the issue has sparked "serious unrest" among the party's rank and file and are claiming some constituencies have lost as many as 100 card-carrying Tories each.

Conservative headquarters, however, does not hold up-to-date membership records, the newspaper said.

Tory MP David Burrowes told The Times: "There's serious unrest in the grassroots. You cannot avoid the fact that the troops are unhappy. People are drifting away."

Cameron Faces Revolt Over Marriage Tax Breaks

David Cameron is facing further pressure from Tory backbenchers after it was confirmed that marriage tax breaks will not be included in next month's Budget.

It had been planned that one member of a married couple or civil partnership would be allowed to transfer £750 of their tax-free personal allowance to their partner, reducing their tax bill. This would be worth around £150 a year to basic-rate taxpayers.

There had been speculation that the Government was planning to introduce the tax break in an attempt to appease backbenchers angry over same-sex marriage legislation.

In 2010, the Conservative general election manifesto pledged to introduce the marriage tax break, and the commitment was also included in the coalition agreement with the Lib Dems.

But the government is yet to bring in the tax break, angering sections on the right of the party.

Senior Government sources have also had to dismiss calls for George Osborne to be sacked - instead insisting Osborne will remain as Chancellor through to the 2015 general election.

Amid fevered speculation over plots against the Prime Minister - currently in Liberia ahead of a UN meeting - there have been rumours that rebels have set a deadline of summer 2014 for the party's electoral fortunes to turn around.

cameron osborne

Cameron stood by his close friend and Chancellor Osborne this week

A number of backbenchers have suggested the change should be included in Osborne's Budget next month in return for their supporting controversial plans to introduce gay marriage.

However, a senior Government source flatly rejected the idea of a "quid pro quo" deal, and ruled out a marriage tax break featuring in this Budget.

"It won't be in the Budget but it will be in this Parliament," the source told the Press Association. "This Budget obviously, with all that has happened in recent weeks and months, will be very much focused on growth in the economy."

The source also made clear that Osborne had the "full confidence" of the Prime Minister.

"He is an extremely successful Chancellor. He is battling very difficult economic circumstances," the source said.

"George Osborne will be Chancellor at the next general election."

According to the Times, the issue of gay marriage is causing Conservative members to leave the party in significant numbers.

The newspaper claimed that as many as 100 members had revoked their affiliation in some constituencies.

Tory MP David Burrowes is quoted as saying: "There's serious unrest in the grassroots. You cannot avoid the fact that the troops are unhappy. People are drifting away."

READ MORE:

Earlier on HuffPost:

David Cameron Told Off For ‘Misleading’ Debt Claim

David Cameron received a ticking-off from the official statistics watchdog today over his claim that the Government was "paying down Britain's debts".

The Prime Minister's assertion in last week's Conservative Party political broadcast sparked a furious complaint by Labour, which described his comments as "deliberately misleading" as the debt was actually rising.

Chair of the UK Statistics Authority Andrew Dilnot confirmed today that public sector net debt has risen from £811 billion in 2010 when the coalition took office to £1.1 trillion at the end of last year.

Responding to Labour's complaint, Mr Dilnot said it was important that politicians distinguished correctly between accumulated and annual public sector borrowing - which has come down under the coalition.

"It is clearly important for all parties to public debate in this area to understand the relevant statistical definitions and to distinguish changes in the level of debt outstanding from changes in borrowing per period, and to reflect these in their communication of the statistical trends involved," he wrote.

"Public sector net debt is a measure of how much the UK public sector owes at a given time. Public sector net borrowing is the difference between total accrued receipts and total accrued (current and capital) expenditure over a specified period; this measure is frequently used by commentators to summarise the extent of any public sector 'deficit'."

He added that he was sending a copy of the letter - with accompanying graphs setting out the relevant data - to Mr Cameron's chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn.

For Labour, shadow chief secretary Rachel Reeves said: "It is hugely embarrassing for David Cameron that he has had to have the difference between borrowing and debt explained to him by the chair of the UK Statistics Authority.

"Now that his false claims have been exposed, it's time the Prime Minister stopped deliberately misleading people about his economic record."

Joe Biden To Meet David Cameron At Downing Street On Tuesday

Mr. President U.S. President Barack Obama waves as the presidential inaugural parade winds through the nation's capital January 21, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Mr. Vice President U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his...

David Cameron Backs George Osborne Amid Rumours Of Tory Plots To Oust Leadership

David Cameron has said he has "full confidence" in George Osborne, amid reports of backbench Tory plots to oust the chancellor or even the prime minister himself. On Friday the Daily Mail reported that Tory MPs plotting against the leadership intend t...

Lord Lawson Says RBS Should Be Nationalised, As Cameron Urges Bonus ‘Restraint’

Former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson has said George Osborne should nationalise the Royal Bank of Scotland.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the peer who is a member of the parliamentary commission on banking standards said RBS, which is 82% owned by the taxpayer, should be taken over entirely and used to increase lending to business.

And the Tory peer who served in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet, said the government should not worry about bankers moving overseas if bonuses are cut.

“These are not particularly impressive individuals," he said of young bankers in the City. "They’re all of them easily replaced, particularly in today’s labour market."

On Friday it was reported that RBS was hoping to claw back £100m in bonus payments to its staff as it prepares for a hefty fine over the Libor rigging scandal.

According to Sky News the bank is expected to pay up to £300m to staff in its Markets and International Banking (M&IB) unit for their work in 2012.

Downing Street has said all banks should "follow a policy of restraint" when awarding bonuses.

Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins is to waive his bonus for 2012 after a "very difficult" year for the scandal-hit bank.

Jenkins, who took on the role last August, said it was "only right that I bear an appropriate degree of accountability" following a year of devastating reputational blows for the group, including its £290 million settlement for Libor rate rigging.

The move follows reports that Barclays was preparing to pay Jenkins a bonus worth at least £1 million for 2012.

The maximum bonus he was entitled to was £2.75 million - or 250% of his £1.1 million salary.

Related on HuffPost:

David Cameron Says ‘Plebgate’ Investigation Must Deliver ‘Proper Answers’

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David Cameron risked angering Tory backbenchers on Friday by backing ambitious tagets for UK aid spending. Speaking in Liberia where he is to attend a UN meeting, Cameron called for the next wave of international development targets to focus on extrem...

David Cameron Warned By Tories To Do Better By 2014, Or Face Revolt

Downing Street has been warned that David Cameron risks facing a confidence vote over his leadership in the summer of 2014 if his poll ratings fail to improve and the party performs poorly in the local elections. Read the whole story at The Guardian

Tory Election Chances ‘Not Boosted By Cameron’s EU Speech’

David Cameron's high-profile speech on Europe has cheered Conservative supporters, but done little to improve the party's chances of success at the next general election, according to polling by major Tory donor Lord Ashcroft. The peer, who until 2010...

Poland Willing To ‘Accommodate’ Cameron’s EU Renegotiation Demands, Says Ambassador

Poland is willing to let the UK renegotiate its relationship with the EU in an attempt to stop David Cameron leading Britain out of the union, the Polish ambassador has said.

In an interview with The HuffingtonPost UK, ambassador Witold Sobkow said Warsaw was willing to "accommodate" some British demands.

Asked if Poland would be willing to allow Cameron to substantially change Britain’s relationship with Brussels ahead of a in/out referendum, he said: "Yes. We see a lot of room for manoeuvre."

"We all want a better functioning EU, respecting subsidiarity, and reducing its bureaucratic burden."

However despite Poland's willingness to listen to the UK, Sobkow warned the opposition of other member states may get in the way.

"Some changes will be easier - they will not imply treaty changes. Others may be more difficult, as any treaty changes may lead to ratifications in all the EU member states.

"There is no appetite for such far reaching changes now, but, who knows, in 2-3 years," he said. "The EU is changing, as we can see, for example, in the case of new banking supervision arrangements."

"I believe we can accommodate some British proposals. We would definitely want Britain to remain a member."

The ambassador’s comments will be seen as a boost for Cameron, who has faced sharp criticism from other European politicians who have been highly critical of his approach.

On Wednesday, German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle told the Financial Times that there could be no "cherry picking" of EU rules.

"The current European settlement may not be to everybody’s liking in every respect, but that is the nature of every good compromise," he said.

"One thing, however, holds true for all of us: there are no rights without duties. There can be no cherry-picking. Saying ‘You either do what I want or I’ll leave!’ is not an attitude that works, either in personal relationships or in a community of nations."

Ambassador Sobkow, who has previously served as Poland's UN ambassador, told HuffPost UK that while it British voters had the "unquestionable" right to leave the EU if they wanted, it would be "bad for Poland and the EU".

"Britain is our close, valuable partner in the EU. We think it provides the right balance in the EU," he said.

He added: "We like and respect the UK, home for thousands of Poles who contribute to the UK's prosperity and enhance the UK's competitiveness.:

The Polish foreign minister recently caused a stir when he said the UK was now a "country under care" given the possibility it may leave the EU. Sobkow said this was a warning to other member states not to let Britain leave.

Poland has traditionally been seen as one of the UK’s closest allies within the union. However in recent years the two nation’s paths have diverged. While Britain is looking to detach itself from the core, Poland is keen to pursue deeper integration.

Sobkow said rather than creating looser ties between EU member states, Poland wanted to create a global "superpower".

"We want the EU to be a strong global player with whom everyone recons with," he said.

Sobkow said that if the UK left the EU it would mean "fundamental changes" in the union as no country has ever left.

"The UK, to some extent, created the single market. It has special relationships with the USA, supports transatlantic relations, and is able to influence politics globally. It has a huge influence in the world through its links with the Commonwealth countries,” he said.

"Leaving the EU would mean not only less power for the UK, but also for the EU. It would harm our global interests," he added.

Related on HuffPost:

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PMQs: George Galloway’s Frankenstein Moment With David Cameron

For 32 minutes he was up and down like a grey suited yo-yo. It wasn't until 12.32pm, as Prime Minister’s Questions drew to a close, that George Galloway got his moment.

Away from the glare of the TV cameras, positioned on the backbenches, Mr Galloway looked increasingly twitchy. He sat forward in his seat, stood up at the end of each answer, looked doe-eyed at the speaker, was ignored and then sat down again. Poor George.

By the time he did get a turn at asking his question the chamber was fractious and ready for lunch.

But it's a testament to the man that when he did speak, others listened. A curious murmur echoed throughout the room. Was Galloway about to land a blow on the PM who’d dodged Ed Miliband’s questions on the economy?

Was a swerve ball about to be bowled? The room fell absolutely silent (pretty much for the first time of the entire session) as Galloway, the Respect Party MP for Bradford West, started.

He wanted to nail the PM on the difference between the Mali jihadists Cameron has committed troops to fight, and those Britain is supporting in Syria.

“Has the PM read Frankenstein?” shouted Galloway, working himself into a froth. “And did he read it all the way to the end?”

A fair question, you may think, but Galloway hadn’t counted on one thing. Today was going to be a decent day for Cameron. Earlier in the session he’d batted off Miliband’s questions with a fairly line and length “it’s all Labour’s fault” answer.

He’d ridden out questions about his supposed stalking horse Adam Afriyie and had made even opposition MPs laugh with a friendly jibe at Leader of the House Sir Peter Tapsell.

But Galloway didn’t get the same friendly treatment. I doubt he’d want it if it was offered.

The slap down was firm: “Wherever there is a brutal dictator in the Arab world, Galloway will be supporting him,” suggested the PM before cheers overcame the silence.

George sat back, the PM crashed on. Galloway’s moment was over.

David Cameron To Visit Algeria In Wake Of Hostage Crisis

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David Cameron’s Reelection At Risk As ‘Spiteful’ Nick Clegg Kills Boundary Review

Nick Clegg took his revenge on David Cameron today by successfully killing Tory hopes of redrawing the electoral map in a way that would aid the prime minister's reelection, prompting a serious rift between the coalition parties.

Lib Dem and Labour MPs cheered as they narrowly defeated by 334 votes to 292 an attempt by the Conservative Party to change the number and size of constituencies before 2015.

In an unprecedented move reflecting the split between coalition parties on the issue, Cameron agreed to suspend the requirement for government ministers to exercise collective responsibility for the vote.

To successfully win the vote, the prime minister needed to convince the six SNP MPs and the eight DUP MPs to join him – however he failed to get them on side.

Earlier this month Clegg ordered his peers to vote against their coalition colleagues in the House of Lords and side with Labour in order to successfully delay the planned boundary review until after 2015.

The changes would have seen see the number of MPs cut from 650 to 600. It is thought the new constituency borders would have helped Cameron win a crucial extra 20 seats.

The Conservative Party argues the current arrangement is unfair, as the party has to win a greater share of the national vote in order to win the same number of MPs as Labour.

The 2015 general election will now be conducted on the same constituency boundaries as the 2010 election that produced the current coalition.

Clegg initially supported the boundary review. But after Tory MPs killed off proposals to reform the House of Lords he took revenge by instructing his MPs and ministers to vote against it.

Tory MPs are furious at the deputy prime minister's "betrayal", arguing the Lib Dems were granted a referendum on changing the electoral system in exchange for supporting the boundary review.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt told the Commons "there was never any obligation for Conservatives to support Lords reform" as she attacked the "spite, pettiness and self-interest".

She said the Lib Dems had "exchanged their legendary sandals for flip-flops to keep their options open" for a coalition with Labour after 2015.

The Conservative leader of the Commons, Andrew Lansley, told MPs the Lib Dem alliance with Labour in the Lords was an "abuse of the parliamentary process".

He said for unelected peers to try and "manipulate" the basis on which the Commons was elected was a "democratic travesty".

According to the Labour Party four Tory MPs, David Davis, Philip Davies, Richard Shepherd and John Baron, voted with the Lib-Lab alliance.

Before the vote Philip Davies told HuffPost UK that while he was unimpressed with Clegg's behaviour, he did not want to see his constituency be erased by the boundary review.

“How he has behaved is abysmal, It’s like a primary school child. It suits me on this issue but I don’t endorse his tactics,” he said.

Also on HuffPost:

Is This Man Plotting A Coup Against Cameron?

Speculation in three Sunday newspapers suggests Tory MP, Adam Afriyie, is a surprise contender to be the next party leader if David Cameron fails to deliver a majority at the 2015 general election.

MPs are reported to have been approached to endorse the credentials of the self-made IT millionaire - who became the party's first black MP in 2005.

A number of sources however have questioned the story with Tory MP, Margot James, dismissing the rumours as "ridiculous".

The alleged campaign was said to be a "well organised" by individuals concerned about the party's prospects of being returned to office amid poor opinion poll ratings and grim economic news.

But the Prime Minister's popular promise of an in/out referendum on Europe appeared to have squashed speculation that it could be part of a plot to oust him before the election.

Mark Field, one of those reported to have been pushing Afriyie as a potential leader, said: "I do not think it's any plot against the Prime Minister".


Sophy Ridge

That's some briefing operation - Adam Afriyie leadership bid in three Sunday papers...

When the Mail on Sunday, who refer to Windsor MP Afriyie as the "Tory Barack Obama", asked about the campaign, he said: "You are being very mischievous.

"I supported David Cameron to become leader. I love him and want him to be leader for the next 20 years."

He later told the newspaper in an email: "David Cameron is Prime Minister and I am concerned that the media is taking attention away from the promised referendum.


Walaa Idris

The story of Adam Afriyie ‘coup’ is so ridiculous & insulting but it shows the media's desperation for a Tory division

"We are all working hard to achieve a Conservative majority so the British people get their say on the EU."

The newspaper said MPs approached to give their support had been told Afriyie had the backing of 40 MPs although others put the number at half that.

Field told the Mail on Sunday that he had had "a handful of conversations with people" but that there was "no mass campaign" in support of Afriyie.


Jonathan Haynes

About 9 out of 10 who replied (and you're an engaged group!) have not heard of Adam Afriyie, who MoS and ST are touting as a Tory challenger

"Discussing him as a long-term option has nothing to do with destabilising the Coalition or plotting against the current leadership. It would be impossible to do that given how the rules operate and counter-productive."

The Sunday Times quoted a "friend" of Afriyie, who is 47, as saying: "The team are well organised.

"They are very concerned about the long-term future of the party and believe Adam is the future. He has a fantastic back story and is very impressive."

Among factors in favour of the relatively-unknown MP - who was shadow science minister before the 2010 election - are said to be his upbringing in a poor part of south London and the fact that he has never claimed travel or second home expenses.

Poll: Voters Unmoved By Cameron EU Message

David Cameron has a mountain to climb if he is to persuade voters to stay in the EU, according to the first opinion poll since his landmark speech on Europe.

A poll in The Times shows the UK would vote by 53% to 47% to leave the European Union if a referendum was held now and not in 2017, as the Prime Minister is proposing.

But in a blow to the Prime Minister and senior Tories, the Populus poll suggests UKIP voters are unimpressed by Mr Cameron’s referendum and negotiate ploy.

Only 8% of UKIP supporters said the PM’s referendum pledge made them more likely to vote Tory.

More than twice that number of UKIP voters, 17%, said they were now less likely to vote Conservative and 75% said they were unmoved.

The poll will be a major disappointment to Mr Cameron and his inner circle, who would have been hoping for a substantial referendum bounce in the first poll since his speech on Wednesday.

The survey also reveals that many voters have already made up their minds about the EU, regardless of the new deal Mr Cameron seeks to negotiate for Britain.

Half of those who want Britain to remain in the UK and two-fifths of those who want to quit say their vote in 2017 will have little or nothing to do with the details of UK opt-outs or repatriated powers.

Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, put a question mark over whether he would support continued EU membership in a future referendum, telling an interviewer at the World Economic Forum in Davos:  "I can’t say now."

The poll also shows that the Prime Minister’s speech did little to improve his chances of winning an outright Tory victory at the next General Election.

A quarter of Liberal Democrat voters (23%) and Labour voters (26%) said Mr Cameron’s "renegotiate and referendum" strategy made it less likely they would vote Tory in 2015.

Cameron takes aim at corporate tax avoiders

(Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday attacked multinational corporations that avoid paying their fair share of tax, promising action against such aggressive strategies after a public backlash in Britain. The issue of tax avoidance by b...

­Avatar director Cameron sued over film screenplay… again

James Cameron (Reuters/Fernando Donasci)

James Cameron (Reuters/Fernando Donasci)

A US Court has ruled Avatar director James Cameron has to hand over drafts of the screenplay in another legal dispute over the origins of the story.

American Eric Ryder filed a lawsuit over the screenplay to the 2009 hit blockbuster in December 2011. He is seeking unspecified compensation from the director and his production company claiming a story titled "K.R.Z. 2068" he spent years working on is the basis for the hit film.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Alan Rosenfield has ordered Cameron to hand over drafts of the screenplay for Avatar to lawyers for Ryder. "We have to be careful and sensitive about ideas and information," the judge said.

Another American opened a lawsuit against Cameron on Monday. According to the Hollywood Reporter Elijah Schkeiban also claims his sci-fi novel “Bats & Butterflies” written in the late ’80s has been reworked into the Avatar screenplay.

Just weeks after Ryder’s lawsuit, another writer, Bryant Moore filed a suit seeking $1.5 billion in actual damages and another $1 billion in punitive damages from Cameron’s production company and 20th Century Fox, the studio behind “Avatar.”

Cameron has often spoken about Avatar saying he came up with the idea for “Avatar” movie in the early ’90s, but had to wait for years for the special-effects technology to catch up with his ambitious ideas.

David Cameron Accused Of Misleading Claim That UK’s Debt Is Falling

David Cameron has been accused of misleading voters after claiming the government was “paying down Britain’s debt”.

During a Conservative Party political broadcast on Wednesday evening, the prime minister said voters wanted to know the “facts” about the country’s finances.

“So though this government has had to make some difficult decisions, we are making progress. We are paying down Britain’s debts,” he said.

However Labour are pointing to figures from the Office for National Statistics published this week which showed that the national debt has risen from £811.3 billion (55.3% GDP) in the second quarter of 2010, to £1,111.4 billion at the end of December 2012 (70.7% GDP).

Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, has today written to Andrew Dilnot, the chair of the UK Statistics Authority to ask for clarity.

"This suggests that the Conservative Party may be attempting to deliberately mislead the public about these statistics and the Government’s record,” she said.

On Thursday morning the prime minister’s official spokesperson acknowledged that debt as a percentage of GDP “has risen” since the election, adding that the deficit had been reduced “by a quarter”.

“The government is taking measures to bring debt under control,” he said. “The point the prime minister is making is the prime minister’s government is taking tough decisions to deal with the economic crisis the government inherited.”

“The government’s policy is for the debt as a percentage of GDP to be falling in 2016/17.”

However the spokesperson denied that Cameron had misspoken in his broadcast. Asked if the prime minister understood the difference between the debt and the deficit, he said: “Yes, he does”.

The UK’s national debt is the total amount of money the country owes historically. The budget deficit, in contrast, is the amount added to that debt each year: the difference between what the government spends and what it receives in revenue.

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Cameron Praises Auschwitz Trips He Once Dismissed As ‘Gimmick’

David Cameron has heaped high praise on the work of a Holocaust charity and its trips to Auschwitz with British schoolchildren - a initiative he once dismissed as a "gimmick".

david cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron meets Holocaust survivor Freda Wineman on Monday

Cameron was responding to a question from Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, marking Holocaust Memorial Day on Thursday.


H.E.T.

Prime Minister David Cameron says HET is an “absolutely brilliant charity” during PMQs


Chris Bryant

Cameron called the holocaust memorial trust a gimmick when in opposition.

Zahawi said: "Sixty-eight years ago this Sunday, the Nazi concentration and extermination camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated.

"As we mark Holocaust memorial day, will the Prime Minister commit to ensuring that young people in this country always have the opportunity to learn about what took place in the darkest period in our shared history, and will he commend the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust?"

Cameron called HET "an absolutely brilliant charity and organisation that makes sure that young people from schools across the country have the opportunity to go and see the places where the terrible events of the Holocaust took place."

HET's chief executive Karen Pollock told HuffPost UK: "We're absolutely thrilled we were mentioned in Prime Minister's Question Time.

"Cameron was clearly deeply touched when he met a Holocaust survivor Freda Wineman and the young Holocaust Educational Ambassadors on Monday morning, and took time out of a hectic schedule to do so. This government have been extremely supportive."

But in 2008, when Cameron was leader of the opposition, the Conservatives included the trips on a list of "gimmicks" that the Labour government failed to deliver. Labour had promised to make the trips free, rather than costing pupils £100 each.

A Conservative spokesman said at the time: "There is no way we think that trips to Auschwitz are a gimmick.

"The gimmick is for the government to make an announcement without providing the means for it to happen."

Then education secretary Ed Balls condemned the "gimmick" jibe, saying: "To call the announcement I made of £4.65m to fund visits by school children over the next three years a 'gimmick' just beggars belief.

"In trying to make this issue into a matter of party politics, David Cameron has shown once again that he not only lacks judgement but also a basic sense of decency."

Labour peer Lord Janner, then chair and now founding patron of HET, called the attack "a low form of politics" but Conservative peer Lord Hunt, vice-president of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said Labour had deliberately taken the words out of context.

Funding for the trips was renewed in 2011 by the coalition government. Pupils pay £59 for the day-long trip to Auschwitz, subsidised by the Trust and the government grant.

Nigel Farage Says Cameron EU Referendum Pledge A ‘Victory’ For Ukip

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UK to exit EU if there is no reform — Cameron

Cameron:Britain drifitng towards exit if there are no EU reforms

Cameron:Britain drifitng towards exit if there are no EU reforms

Britain will move to exit the EU if significant reforms are not made to the structure of the union, said UK Prime Minister David Cameron. He warned the organization was heading for a degree of integration "outside the UK’s comfort zone."

Cameron stressed the solution was to hold an "in-out referendum" on Britain’s membership of the body, but only after the EU had had a chance to remedy the financial crisis.

“I say to the British people: this will be your decision. And when that choice comes, you will have an important choice to make about our country’s destiny,”

stated the British Prime Minister.

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

Cameron lets “genie out of bottle” on EU exit – UKIP

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David Cameron Promises In Or Out EU Referendum If Tories Win 2015 Election

David Cameron will promise an in or out referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union if the Conservatives win the next election.

After months of tantric teasing, the prime minister will use a speech in central London early on Wednesday morning to set out his vision to claw back powers from Brussels to Westminster and then put the new relationship to a public vote by October 2017.

In what could be one of the defining speeches of his time in Downing Street, the prime minister is expected to say: "It is time for the British people to have their say".

"I say to the British people: this will be your decision. And when that choice comes, you will have an important choice to make about our country's destiny," he will add.

The offer of an in or out referendum will be seen as a crucial concession to backbench Tory MPs, many of whom would have been happy with nothing less.

Amid concerns in Tory circles that Cameron faces a uphill battle to remain in office, let alone win an outright majority in 2015, the speech will also be used to campaign against Nigel Farage's Ukip.

Tory MP George Eustice, who used to be Cameron's press secretary, told BBC Newsnight: "If you do want a new settlement with Europe and you do want a referendum, you have to get behind the Conservative Party."

A referendum is not guaranteed as both Labour and the Lib Dems are opposed. It is unclear if Nick Clegg would agree to let Cameron hold a referendum if the prime minister fails to win a majority and has to form a second coalition.

Despite offering a referendum, Cameron will say he intends to campaign strongly for Britain to remain part of the bloc.

“I believe something very deeply. That Britain’s national interest is best served in a flexible, adaptable and open European Union. And that such a European Union is best with Britain in it," he will say.

"We can deliver a more flexible, adaptable and open European Union in which the interests and ambitions of all its members can be met.

"Over the coming weeks, months and years, I will not rest until this debate is won. For the future of my country. For the success of the European Union. And for the prosperity of our peoples for generations to come."

SEE ALSO: Peter Kellner: EU Vote: Stay in 40%, Leave 34%

The prime minister had originally planned to deliver the speech in Amsterdam on Friday but cancelled the trip in the wake of the terror attack on an Algerian gas field.

However extracts from the speech had already been briefed to journalists before it was delayed, meaning some of the key lines were still reported.

Cameron had intended to say that while he was in favour Britain being part of the EU, there was a danger the British people will “drift towards the exit” if it is not reformed.

"I do not want that to happen. I want the European Union to be a success and I want a relationship between Britain and the EU that keeps us in it,” he would have said.

"People are increasingly frustrated that decisions taken further and further away from them mean their living standards are slashed through enforced austerity or their taxes are used to bail out governments on the other side of the continent," he was intending to argue.

The prime minister’s position has exposed a deep rift within the coalition, with the Lib Dems rejecting the case for holding a referendum.

In a high profile speech on Thursday, business secretary said a referendum at this time would cause “uncertainty” and severely damage the UK’s fragile economic recovery.

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Cameron has also come under pressure from foreign leaders including President Obama not to take Britain out of the EU.

A White House spokesman said: "The president underscored our close alliance with the United Kingdom and said that the United States values a strong UK in a strong European Union, which makes critical contributions to peace, prosperity, and security in Europe and around the world."

European politicians have also encouraged Cameron to ignore his Eurosceptic MPs. Writing on The Huffington Post UK, the president of the European Parliament said Cameron’s stance could lead to the “disintegration and potentially the break-up of the EU”.

And former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt told HuffPost UK that Cameron was a “madman, threatening to blow himself up unless he gets his own way”.

On Tuesday evening Ed Miliband savaged Cameron’s speech, saying it would “define him as a weak prime minister, being driven by his party, not by the national economic interest”.

"In October 2011, he opposed committing to an in/out referendum because of the uncertainty it would create for the country. The only thing that has changed since then is he has lost control of his party and is too weak to do what is right for the country,” he said.

Related on HuffPost:

David Cameron Predicts A ‘Generational Struggle’ Against Terror

David Cameron has warned that Britain is engaged in a "generational struggle" against terrorism in the wake of the Algerian hostage crisis which has left at least three Britons dead.

In a statement to the House of Commons on Monday afternoon, the prime minister said there needed to be a "patient, intelligent but tough approach" to defeat terrorism and to ensure the security of the UK.

"We are in the midst of a generational struggle against an ideology which is an extreme distortion of the Islamic faith, and which holds that mass murder and terror are not only acceptable but necessary," he said.

"We must tackle this poisonous thinking at home and abroad and resist the ideologues’ attempt to divide the world into a clash of civilisations."

He added: "We must pursue it with an iron resolve."

Cameron insisted that a "tough security response" must be matched by an "intelligent political response".

"We will contribute British intelligence and counter-terrorism assets to an international effort to find and dismantle the network that planned and ordered the brutal assault at In Amenas," he said.

However his comments in the wake of the Algerian terror attack could signal a shift in his thinking towards an increasingly interventionist approach to foreign policy.

Many observers have noted parallels between his statement to that made by Tony Blair after the 11 September 2001 in New York and Washington.

In 2007, then leader of the Opposition, Cameron explicitly rejected the liberal interventionist approach and rhetoric of Blair that led to the war in Iraq.

"The idea that we should just get out there into the world and ‘sort it all out’ was the right impulse; was morally correct, but failed to strike the right balance between realism and idealism," he said.

However this approach was challenged by the Arab Spring his decision to involve Britain in the operation to topple Colonel Gaddafi in Libya.

Cameron insisted the UK was "not seeking a combat role in Mali" to assist the French operations, but said the British government would consider providing additional intelligence and transport resources available to Paris.

Ed Miliband said the international community needed to "apply the lessons of the past" and ensure any security response was matched by a diplomatic and political approach.

"The whole country has been shocked as the horrific details of this unprovoked and violent act of terror have emerged," he said. "This was pre-meditated, cold blooded murder of the most brutal kind."

Earlier on HuffPost:

Cameron to deliver delayed EU speech on Wednesday

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Cameron’s Tantric Europe Speech To Come ‘This Week’

David Cameron will deliver his long-awaited speech on Britain's relations with the European Union later this week, Foreign Secretary William Hague has confirmed, insisting there is a 'strong case' for a referendum.

The Prime Minister had been due to make the speech in the Netherlands on Friday but it was postponed due to the Algeria hostage crisis.

"It will happen this week," Mr Hague told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show. "We will make an announcement on when and where tomorrow."

william hague

Hague has said there is a strong case for a referendum

Cameron has been under pressure from eurosceptic Tories to set out his position on whether he will promise a referendum on EU membership after the next election.

The PM's reticence on the subject has been a source of frustration to many, with the emotive policy threatening to tear a divide in the coalition.

Hague said on Sunday there was a 'strong case' for holding a vote, telling the BBC "fresh consent" would be needed to make Britain's EU Membership a success.

"We want to succeed in the European Union - we want an outward-looking EU to succeed in the world, and for the United Kingdom to succeed in that," he said.

"But we have to recognise that the European Union has changed a lot since the referendum of 1975 and that there have been not only great achievements to the EU's name but some things that have gone badly wrong, such as the euro."

farage

Nigel Farage, of Ukip, has been revelling in increased support for an independent Britain

Extracts from Mr Cameron's Netherlands speech showed the Prime Minister intended to make clear that he wanted the UK to play a "committed and active" part in the EU in future.

But he was also planning to warn that, if changes are not made to address the three key challenges of eurozone crisis, economic competitiveness and dramatically declining public support, "the danger is that Europe will fail and the British people will drift towards the exit".

The extracts released by Downing Street did not reveal whether the Prime Minister intended to commit himself to an in/out referendum on British membership of the EU following the renegotiation of its terms which he has already said he plans to undertake after the 2015 general election.

The US ambassador to London, Louis Susman, became the latest senior figure to make clear that the Obama administration did not want the UK to break away.

"We believe in a strong EU. We cannot imagine a strong EU without a vibrant partner in the UK," he told Sky News's Murnaghan programme.

"That is what we hope will come about but it is up to the British people to decide what they want."

obama

The Obama administration have added their voices to the debate

In December the PM poked fun at himself for delaying the speech, saying "This is a tantric approach to policy-making. It'll be even better when it does eventually come."

Michello Portillo, who served as the Conservative Defence Secretary under John Major and was notoriously eurosceptic during his time in power, said the PM must tread carefully over whether he offers an in or out vote.

“To commit himself to an in-out referendum in the mid term of his next government seems to me to be extraordinarily dangerous,” Mr Portillo told Sky's Murnaghan programme.

“People like to kick their government in the teeth."


James Kirkup
So far today William Hague attacked on #marr as pro-European and Michael Portillo on #murnaghan opposed EU referendum. How times change.

Vince Cable has sided with Labour leader Ed Miliband in warning David Cameron that any pledge to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership on the EU would damage the British economy.

Cable’s intervention signals a ratcheting up up of the Lib Dem attack on Cameron’s increasingly eurosceptic position.

Former defence secretary Liam Fox said he would prefer to have a renegotiated relationship with Europe and that ultimately he would like to leave the union.

Dr Fox told BBC One's Sunday Politics programme: "I think ultimately there has to be an in-out referendum because otherwise we're going to have our politics in Britain constantly undermined by this debate and I think it's very important that we settle one way or another the European argument for a generation."

liam fox

Liam Fox said his personal preference was to leave

He added that if the choice was between going in the current direction with an ultimately greater and greater loss of British sovereignty, "my personal preference would be to leave".

He said: "I don't want to have ever closer union, I don't want to be a European first and British second."

Eurosceptic Dr Fox added he had been "broadly satisfied" with what he saw that Mr Cameron was intending to say on Europe.

Asked if he was going to return to the Cabinet, he replied: "No I wouldn't say that was true, I've got a lot of things that I'm doing at the moment, but most of us, if asked would you like to be in the Cabinet, would say yes of course we would."

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander told the same programme Mr Cameron's speech had "more to do with the politics of the Conservative Party...than actually to do with the national interest."

He said: "Why has the speech been delayed for more than a year? David Cameron I would suggest was actually rendered speechless because of the gap between what his backbenchers will tolerate and what European partners will give him."

An alliance between the Conservatives and Ukip is "virtually impossible to even contemplate" with David Cameron as Prime Minister, Nigel Farage said on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday.

Mr Farage claimed pressure from Ukip and its supporters had contributed to a shift in public attitude towards the Europe Union.

He said: "The first thing to say is that 10 years ago you couldn't even discuss the question of leaving the EU in polite society, it was considered completely beyond the pale to even talk about.

"So the very fact that the Prime Minister is making a speech on this issue is actually a tribute to the thousands of people that have worked and helped get Ukip established as a political party."

David Cameron: UK Could ‘Drift Towards’ EU Exit

David Cameron served notice today that Britain could leave the European Union if its concerns about its membership are not resolved. Extracts from a speech that Cameron was planning to make this morning show that the Prime Minister intended to make cl...

Cameron Left In Dark About Algeria Rescue Mission

The Algerian government kept David Cameron in the dark about plans to launch a military rescue mission for the hostages held captive by militants, it has emerged.

Downing Street confirmed on Thursday afternoon that the prime minister had asked his Algerian counterpart to consult Britain before any military moves were made, given the presence of "several" British hostages.

However despite the request to be kept informed, Cameron was only formally told of the military action after it had begun on Thursday morning.

The PM called Abdelmalek Sellal, the Algerian prime minister, at 11.30am today to find out the latest development.

During the 10-15 minute conversation Sellal told Cameron it had been his judgment that he had needed to act "immediately".

According to the prime minister’s official spokesperson, Algeria was aware Britain would have “preferred to have been consulted in advance” but chose to ignore that request.

"The prime minister is extremely concerned. It is a very grave and serious situation," the spokesman said.

However the spokesperson refused to be drawn on whether Cameron only became aware of the military action during the phone call, or had learned of it prior to placing the call.

“We are in constant contact with them [Algeria], it’s a fast moving, ongoing situation and we are doing as much as we can to establish what is going on," he said.

The spokesperson would also not be drawn on reports that between six and 35 hostages and between eight and 15 of the rebels had been killed in the fighting.

The British government has offered to provide assistance if asked – but such as request has yet to be made by Algeria.

It is understood that Algeria did not inform other foreign governments about its decision to launch an operation.

Cameron has also had phone conversations with French president Francois Hollande and US president Obama to discuss the situation in Algeria.

The prime minister was due to chair another meeting of the emergency Cobra cabinet committee later on Thursday to assess the situation.

The prime minister has now cancelled his trip to the Netherlands, where he was due to deliver a speech on the European Union, in light of the escalating crisis.

locator map algeria

Related on HuffPost:

David Cameron Tells Nick Clegg Lib Dems ‘Need To Be More Diverse’

David Cameron has said Nick Clegg needs increase the number of female Lib Dem MPs, as he promised to appoint more women to his cabinet.

In an interview with the parliamentary House magazine published today, the prime minister said he was committed to honouring a pledge to make at least one third of Conservative ministers women.

But he noted that he could not speak on behalf of his Lib Dem colleagues in government. “Obviously I can’t apply my pledge to the Lib Dems and obviously they need to improve their diversity and I’ll be having a word with the deputy prime minister about that," he said.

"I remain committed to what I said. I want to deliver a more diverse party and I want to encourage more women and more ethnic minorities, more people from different parts of the country, from different backgrounds, into the party at all levels," he said.

The Lib Dems currently have five cabinet ministers in the government - all of them are men. Of the junior Lib Dem ministers, six are women, including Lynne Featherstone at international development and Jo Swinson at the business department.

Cameron has frequently been criticised for not appointing enough women to top government jobs. Of only four full cabinet members are women, Justine Greening (transport), Maria Miller (culture), Theresa Villers (Northern Ireland) and Theresa May (Home Office).

The prime minister said the reason many junior ministers lost their jobs in September's reshuffle was so he could bring in new MPs, especially female and ethnic minority Tories, with a view to promoting them in the future.

“You can’t just catapult people into the Cabinet. You need to give people the chance to shine in junior ministerial jobs so that’s what I’ve done, " he said.

"These reshuffles are important because you can’t just fix it in one go. You need to get the talent moving through the ranks."

Cameron also said there was a "never ending drive" to see more MPs from ethnic minorities elected to parliament.

He told House magazine: "The Conservative Party needed to reach out as I’ve put it in the past people were opening a door hand seeing all white faces and didn’t find that very welcoming, we need to go out and attract very talented people from ethnic minority communities to join the Conservatives, stands as a Conservatives, stand for local government, stand for Parliament, so there’s no let up in that, we’ll go on encouraging that."

European Parliament President Warns David Cameron May ‘Break-Up’ EU

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, has warned David Cameron that his attempt to negotiate a new relationship with the Europe could lead to the break-up of the EU.

David Cameron’s EU Speech In Netherlands To Go Ahead, Despite Algeria Hostage Crisis

David Cameron has no plans to cancel his long awaited speech on the European Union in the Netherlands on Friday, despite the on-going hostage crisis in Algeria, Downing Street has insisted.

The prime minister’s official spokesperson said on Thursday that the situation at the gas facility where militants are holding captive several Algerian and foreign nationals, including “several” Britons was a “very serious and dangerous situation”.

Cameron is due to hold a emergency meeting of the ministerial Cobra committee in London this afternoon to asses the situation in North Africa.

His trip to the Netherlands tomorrow where he is expected to use an Amsterdam speech to set out his plan for a referendum on membership of the EU will go ahead – but arrangements have been made for him to chair a Cobra meeting remotely from The Hague if necessary.

As Algerian troops surrounded a gas facility in the east of the country, No. 10 said the British government had agreed to let the Algerians take the lead on securing the release of the hostages.

The prime minister’s official spokesperson said the UK would consider any requests for assistance made by the Algerians - but none had yet been made. “If they had any requests we would consider them,” the spokesperson said.

Downing Street also believes the “nature and extent” of the attack in which one Briton has already died suggests an element of “pre-planning” on the part of the militants.

According to the Algerian government twenty foreign hostages, including Americans, escaped from their captors on Thursday morning.

SEE ALSO: Vince Cable Warns David Cameron Of 'Dangerous' EU Referendum

Also on HuffPost:

Miliband Warns Cameron Over EU Exit

Ed Miliband renewed his warning to David Cameron on Thursday, that he is leading Britain towards an exit from the European Union. The Labour leader said the prime minister's expected plan - to be set out in a keynote speech in the Netherlands tomorrow...

Mehdi’s Morning Memo: Cable Vs Cameron

The ten things you need to know on Thursday 17 January 2013...

1) CABLE VS CAMERON

First there was an American diplomat. Then a German politician. Then a former British ambassador. And then, of course, a group of eurosceptic Tory backbenchers. Everyone seems to have something to say on Britain's relationship with Europe ahead of David Cameron's 'tantric' speech on the subject in the Netherlands tomorrow.

Tonight, just a few hours ahead of the PM's address, it's Vince Cable's turn. As Ned Simons and I report:

"In a speech to business leaders on Thursday, the Lib Dem business secretary will say it is a 'terrible time' to have the 'diversion and uncertainty' which build up to a referendum would entail.

“'Uncertainty is the enemy of investment. At a time of extreme fragility in business confidence such uncertainty would add to the sense of unresolved crisis and weaken Britain’s ability to deliver more reform inside the EU,' he will say.

"... Taking aim at eurosceptic Tory backbenchers, Cable will use his speech on Thursday evening to say that it will be “next to impossible” to safeguard the UK national interest in the Single Market if London tries to disengage from its existing commitments.

“'The eurosceptic calculation is that British permission is necessary for closer integration- via treaty change- and that this permission can be traded for the negotiating objectives. That seems to me a dangerous gamble to make,' he will say."

There aren't many Tories who like Vince Cable and there'll be even fewer after he delivers tonight's speech in Oxfordshire. A senior Lib Dem official tells us that the the party wants "to give the Tories enough rope to hang themselves with".

Meanwhile, the Guardian reports:

"In the runup to the [Cameron] speech, a group of prominent City figures have written to the Telegraph in support of an in-out referendum, and a group of 30 pro-European Tory MPs, including Ken Clarke and Sir Malcolm Rifkind, have written a letter charging the prime minister with jeopardising Margaret Thatcher's foremost European legacy, the single market. The MPs warn: 'We fear that a renegotiation which seems to favour the UK alone would force other capitals to ask why they cannot simply dispense with those parts of the single market that don't suit them, potentially endangering Margaret Thatcher's defining European legacy.'"

2) 'THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF'

The Tories' seem pretty divided on Europe - something Ed Miliband was keen to highlight during prime minister's questions yesterday. But what's Labour's position? We may found out today when shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander gives his own speech on Europe (yep, everyone's at it!) in which he will say:

“The gap between the minimum the Tories will demand and the maximum our European partners can accept remains unbridgeable."

Meanwhile, his boss, the Labour leader Ed Miliband, has told the Financial Times that David Cameron was about to take Britain "to the edge of an economic cliff" with a promise of an EU referendum, which he believes will also reawaken "collective" hysteria" in the Conservative Party.

Miliband told the FT that he is "not in favour now of committing to an in-out referendum - it wouldn't be the right thing for our country. The priority for this country is to focus on our economic difficulties and getting out of those difficulties and you don't do that by putting a big 'closed for business' sign around Britain."

Cameron "should be listening to the CBI and not Nigel Farage", the Labour leader added.

Oooh...

3) COLLECTIVE (IR)RESPONSIBILITY

Europhobes in the cabinet (IDS? Owen Paterson? Chris Grayling?) will be delighted - from the Guardian:

"The prime minister has refused to confirm or deny claims that he has given cabinet colleagues freedom to campaign for Britain to exit the European Union in a future referendum."

It could be 1975 all over again...

4) 'ROM THEIR WAY'

That's the headline in the Sun this morning, which reports:

"Up to 350,000 Romanians and Bulgarians could flock to Britain when restrictions are lifted at the end of this year, a report warns today.

"The influx would equal a city the size of Leicester.

"A new analysis estimates 50,000 Romanians and Bulgarians could arrive each year — or 250,000 over the next five years. But that figure could hit 70,000 annually — or 350,000 over five years, according to..."

Hmm. According to who? Yep, you guessed it:

"...campaign group Migration Watch."

But earlier this week, the prime minister said that the detail for such calculations "wasn't there yet" and as the BBC reports:

"Sarah Mulley, of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank said that although it was 'very difficult to predict migration flows with any degree of confidence in these circumstances' the estimates put forward by Migration Watch 'look high'.

"She said: 'The UK is opening access to its labour markets along with the rest of Europe and the process of opening up to Bulgaria and Romania has been a gradual one, in contrast with 2004 when the UK was the only large EU country to open its labour market and when borders and labour market access were opened at the same time.

"'So it would be very surprising if net migration from Bulgaria and Romania was on the scale predicted by Migration Watch.'"

Watch this space.

5) BARACK OBAMA VS THE NRA

Second-term Obama seems to have found his cojones - from my HuffPost colleagues in the US:

"In a bold and potentially historic attempt to stem the increase in mass gun violence, President Barack Obama unveiled on Wednesday the most sweeping effort at gun control policy reform in a generation.

"'This is our first task as a society: keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged,' Obama said. 'We can’t put this off any longer.'

"... [T]he president recommended requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales; reinstating the assault weapons ban; restoring a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines; eliminating armor-piercing bullets; providing mental health services in schools; allocating funds to hire more police officers; and instituting a federal gun trafficking statute, among other policies. The cost of the package, senior officials estimated, would be roughly $500 million, some of which could come from already budgeted funds."

The NRA isn't happy. Prior to the president's announcement, America's largest gun lobby released a TV ad in which

"... a narrator argued that the Secret Service protection provided to Obama's two daughters, Sasha and Malia, is evidence that the president is an 'elitist hypocrite,' who wants armed guards for his own daughters, but not for other people's children. The ad was widely panned as soon as it was released, and White House spokesman Jay Carney called it 'repugnant and cowardly.'"

"Has the NRA lost it entirely?" asks Salon's Joan Walsh.

Er, yes.

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR...

Watch this video of two dogs Skypeing each other.

6) AFGHAN REDUX?

From the Times splash:

"British special forces were on standby last night to mount a rescue mission after al-Qaeda militants in Algeria took scores of foreign workers hostage, including up to five Britons.

"One British citizen was killed in the bloody siege at a BP gas plant in the East of the country — the worst terrorist crisis of David Cameron's premiership and one of the largest foreign kidnappings of recent times. The militants, from neighbouring Mali, claimed that they were responding to a decision by France, supported by Britain, to attack al-Qaeda Islamists in their country."

The paper adds:

"In a move that could increase tensions further, MPs approved plans yesterday to send a small number of British military personnel to help to train Mali's demoralised army as it battles to reclaim the sprawling north of the country from jihadists.

"Britain has contributed two transport aircraft to help the French mission, but was expected to send a small number of soldiers to Bamako, the Malian capital, as early as next month under proposals drawn up by the European Union."

But the Daily Mail's leader argues that "it would surely be disastrous for Britain to commit more of our overstretched men and equipment to a cause not obviously our own". It says:

"Indeed, in the rapidly escalating conflict in Mali, where France will triple its troop deployment 'within days', aren't there chilling echoes of Afghanistan? There, too - where the bloodshed continues after more than a decade - Britain took arms against a tribal enemy as a gesture of solidarity with an ally.

"In Mali, as in Afghanistan, the insurgents are proving a more formidable foe than expected, armed as they are with heavy machine guns, Kalashnikovs and rocketpropelled grenades.

"... As France calls for more international support, is it too much to hope that David Cameron will remember the British lives lost and the sobering lessons of our oh-so-recent history - and just say No?"

7) LABOUR'S IRON MAN?

The cover story of the Guardian's G2 supplement has a rather startling headline this morning: "Could Ed be Labour's Thatcher?"

Author Andy Beckett, a long-time Miliband-watcher, draws a fascinating comparison between the Labour leader and the Tories' most famous, successful and right-wing leader. He writes:

"Members of Miliband's unusually small inner circle are also open about their preoccupation with – and even sometimes admiration for – what Thatcher subsequently achieved in her 15 years as opposition leader and prime minister."

The whole thing is worth a read - and not just because Beckett plugs my biog of the Labour leader in the opening paragraph.

8) AUSTERITY WATCH, PART 129

From the Times:

"More than 100,000 disabled people will lose basic home support under government reforms of social care, leading disability groups are warning.

"Five charities including Scope, Mencap and Leonard Cheshire argue that the care system is already underfunded by at least £1.2 billion and “is on the verge of breakdown”.

"... In a report published today the charities say that 40 per cent of disabled people are already failing to get the basic care they need, such as help with washing, dressing, cooking and eating."

9) FORMER ISRAELI PM ACCUSES CURRENT ISRAELI PM

From the Daily Beast:

"Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says the government of Benjamin Netanyahu spent almost $3 billion in the past two years preparing for a war against Iran's nuclear program that it probably never intended to wage.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Olmert said the sum was above and beyond the billions allocated to the defense budget and helped raise Israel’s fiscal deficit to heights it hadn’t reached in years. As a result, he said, Netanyahu would be forced to make broad spending cuts, if reelected next week..."

Now that's what I call a deficit debate...

10) 'MY MATHS ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH'

From the HuffPost UK:

"Wonga's head of regulatory and public affairs has told a committee of MPs that he could not work out the interest on a loan from his own company because 'my maths isn't good enough.'

"Henry Raine, head of regulatory and public affairs at the payday loans company, defended his business to the House of Commons Public Accounts committee, where he was grilled by chair and Labour MP Margaret Hodge on the effectiveness of consumer credit regulation."

PUBLIC OPINION WATCH

From the latest Ipsos-MORI poll:

Labour 43
Conservatives 30
Ukip 9
Lib Dems 8

That would give Labour a majority of 124.

140 CHARACTERS OR LESS

@DanHannanMEP The lobby is covering the PM's coming speech in terms of party management. They're missing the epochal significance of an In/Out referendum.

@edballsmp When David Cameron gets so desperate he has to claim Labour wants Britain to join the single currency, you know he's really losing it..

@TheOnion On Tonight's ONNCast: NRA Fights Legislation That Would Ban Gun Sales To Those Currently On Killing Sprees

900 WORDS OR MORE

James Forsyth, writing in this week's Spectator, says: "Cameron’s European moment has come – a year late."

Peter Oborne, writing in the Telegraph, says: "Tony Blair’s record in the Middle East is a sorry one – it’s time he quit."

Slavoj Zizek, writing in the Guardian, says: "The west's crisis is one of democracy as much as finance."


Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Mehdi Hasan ([email protected]) or Ned Simons ([email protected]). You can also follow us on Twitter: @mehdirhasan, @nedsimons and @huffpostukpol

Vince Cable Warns David Cameron ‘Dangerous’ EU Referendum Will Damage Economy

Vince Cable has sided with Labour leader Ed Miliband in warning David Cameron that any pledge to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership on the EU would damage the British economy - and deepened the coalition split on the issue.

In a speech to business leaders on Thursday, the Lib Dem business secretary will say it is a “terrible time” to have the “diversion and uncertainty” which build up to a referendum would entail.

“Uncertainty is the enemy of investment. At a time of extreme fragility in business confidence such uncertainty would add to the sense of unresolved crisis and weaken Britain’s ability to deliver more reform inside the EU,” he will say.

“Any reopening the whole question of British membership creates additional uncertainty at a time when there is already fragile economic confidence in the wake of the financial crisis.”

He will add: “I have never met or heard of a business that exports widely, within or beyond Europe, that thinks it would be better to be doing this from outside the EU.”

Cable’s intervention signals a ratcheting up up of the Lib Dem attack on Cameron’s increasingly eurosceptic position, although The Huffington Post UK understands that the Lib Dems have no plans to make a formal, Leveson-style, response to the prime minister's speech on Friday.

"We want to give the Tories enough rope to hang themselves with," a senior Lib Dem official told HuffPostUK.

On Monday, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said that talk of a referendum would have a “chilling effect” on jobs and growth.

“We should be very careful, at a time when the British economy is still haltingly recovering from the worst economic shock for a generation, to create a very high and prolonged period of uncertainty,” the deputy prime minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Cable’s comments come the day before David Cameron’s much-anticipated speech on Britain’s future relationship with the EU, although HuffPost UK understands that the business secretary’s speech was in the diary long before the date of the prime minister’s address was known.

Cameron is expected to use his speech in the Netherlands on Friday to commit the Conservative Party to a holding a referendum on Britain’s 'renegotiated' relationship with the EU - if, that is, the Tories wins the next election outright.

Ed Miliband launched a similar attack to Cable's on Cameron during prime minister's questions on Wednesday.

"At a time when one million young people are out of work and businesses are going to the wall, what is the Prime Minister doing? He has spent six months preparing a speech to create five years of uncertainty for Britain,” he said.

Taking aim at eurosceptic Tory backbenchers, Cable will use his speech on Thursday evening to say that it will be “next to impossible” to safeguard the UK national interest in the Single Market if London tries to disengage from its existing commitments.

“The eurosceptic calculation is that British permission is necessary for closer integration- via treaty change- and that this permission can be traded for the negotiating objectives. That seems to me a dangerous gamble to make,” he will say.

“There are many in Europe, notably in France, who would be happy to see the back of the UK (whatever that may mean in practice) and even the UK’s allies on market reform (notably Germany) have limited political capital to spend getting a more favourable arrangement for the UK.”

Cable’s view that Tory eurosceptics are risking with Britain’s position inside the Single Market mirrors comments made by veteran europhile and Conservative minister Kenneth Clarke, who told the Financial Times yesterday that any referendum would be a "gamble" that could lead to the UK leaving the union.

On Thursday evening shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander will also deliver a speech on Britain and the EU, outlining Labour’s European vision, rejecting a referendum and slamming Cameron's eurosceptic position.

“For many in his Party, getting David Cameron to commit now to an in/out referendum is not about securing consent. It is about securing exit,” he will say.

“The gap between the minimum the Tories will demand and the maximum our European partners can accept remains unbridgeable.

In words that are almost identical to Cable’s, Alexander will say committing to a referendum “risks up to seven years of economic uncertainty which could deter potential investors and undermine the prospects for recovery”.

Brussels on edge ahead of Cameron’s EU speech

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - It's been called a tightrope walk, an attempt to thread a needle in the dark and like sailing between Scylla and Charybdis. The classical allusion may be a stretch, but one way or the other, David Cameron faces a tough ask on Euro...

Conservative MPs Tell David Cameron To Take Powers Back From EU

Conservative backbenchers will today tell David Cameron he must claw back full British control over social and employment law from Brussels and warn the "status quo is no longer an option". The Fresh Start group, which is said to have wide support amo...

Cameron faces tightrope EU speech, shuns exit vote

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron will spell out plans to dilute Britain's membership of the European Union on Friday, a move that could reshape its role in the world, upset some of the premier's allies and decide his government's fate. ...

David Cameron’s EU Speech Set For Friday, As Tory MPs Hope For In/Out Referendum

David Cameron will deliver his long awaited speech on the future of Britain's relationship with the European Union in the Netherlands on Friday, Downing Street confirmed on Monday. The prime minister had initially been thought to have pencilled in Tue...

What’s Making Cameron Green With Envy?

The only thing greener than Nick Clegg's onesie is David Cameron's envy for the must-have fashion item. The prime minister has revealed that he does not own a onesie, unlike his deputy, but added that he is "jealous" of the ones his children have. Cam...

David Cameron Says UK ‘Better Off’ As Part Of EU, Ahead Of Major Speech

David Cameron held out the prospect of a referendum on Britain's relationship with the European Union today - but only when it has been "fundamentally" changed.

The Prime Minister dismissed the idea of an immediate in/out referendum, insisting that would be putting a "false choice" in front of voters.

But he said he is "not against a referendum" altogether and is in favour of one "in some cases".

"The principle, I think, should be this: if you are fundamentally changing the relationship between Britain and Europe, then you should be having a referendum," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Asked whether it should be a straightforward question of in or out, Cameron said he would set out more detail in a highly-anticipated speech on the subject he is due to deliver in the Netherlands this month.

"You will have to wait for the speech for the full details but obviously I want to give people a proper choice," he said.

"What I don't favour, I think if we had an in/out referendum tomorrow or very shortly I don't think that would be the right answer, for the simple reason I think we would be giving people a false choice, because right now there are a lot of people who are saying I would like to be in Europe but I'm not happy with every aspect of the relationship so I want to change.

"That is my view, so I think an in/out referendum is a false choice."

Amid claims from some in his party that it might be in Britain's interests to leave the EU, the Prime Minister said: "I'm in favour of our membership of the European Union and I'm optimistic and confident that we can achieve changes in the European Union to make sure that Britain feels more comfortable with our relationship with Europe.

"I'm confident we can do that."

The Prime Minister dismissed warnings that question marks over Britain's position in the EU are damaging for business, insisting that the debate is unavoidable.

"Europe is changing and the opportunity for us to lead those changes and make changes that make our relationship with Europe more comfortable, I think, are absolutely there, so I'm confident we can do that and then, as I say, a fresh settlement, and then fresh consent for that settlement, I think that's the right approach," he said.

"Those who say this is very dangerous, you are putting at risk the relationship with Europe, you are putting at risk our position with regard to business, I don't agree with that, because this debate is happening anyway."

Peter Kellner: Britain, Europe and the Fear Factor

His comments came as Communities Secretary Eric Pickles became the second Cabinet minister in recent days to raise the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union.

Amid deepening divisions in the Conservative Party over the issue, Pickles said the UK should not remain a member "at any price".

"If it's in our clear national interest that we should remain in the European Union - and I sincerely hope that is the case - then we should stay, but we shouldn't stay at any price," he told BBC Radio Five Live.

His intervention echoed that of Chancellor George Osborne, who said last week that the EU "must change" if Britain is to remain a member of the EU.

Asked about the Chancellor's comments today, Cameron said he agreed with Osborne. "Yes, I think it does need to change, and it is changing."

The Prime Minister said his speech, which has been expected for several months amid growing speculation about his stance on the EU, was "finished and ready to go".

Cameron is caught in the middle of an increasingly ill-tempered row over the issue as some in his party warn that leaving the EU would be highly damaging.

Cabinet minister Ken Clarke is to share a platform with Labour peer Lord Mandelson later this month to stress the benefits of remaining in the union.

The pair are launching a new cross-party organisation, the Centre for British Influence through Europe (CBIE), to make the "patriotic" case for British engagement.

And around 20 Tory MPs have also apparently signed a letter, due to be published this week, warning of "massive damage" if the UK leaves the EU.

Cameron is also under pressure from his Liberal Democrat coalition partners and Labour to avoid leading Britain towards the EU exit door.

Business leaders including Sir Richard Branson have warned that uncertainty about the UK's place in the EU is harmful and, in an unusual intervention last week, senior US diplomat Philip Gordon openly stated that America wanted Britain to remain in the EU.

Douglas Alexander MP, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, said the prime minister's comments this morning "raised more questions than they answered".

"On Europe he's not in control of the agenda or even his party. The gap between his back benchers and our EU partners remains un-bridgeable," he said.

Related on HuffPost:

EU vote pressure heaped on Cameron

Labour and the Liberal Democrats are turning up the heat on David Cameron as he struggles to stop his party tearing itself apart over Europe. With just over a week until the Prime Minister's crunch speech on Britain and the EU, Ed Miliband insisted it...

David Cameron Faces Party Battle Over Europe

David Cameron is facing a challenge to hold his party together as battle lines are drawn over Europe.

With just over a week until the Prime Minister's key speech on Britain's relationship with the EU, Tory Europhiles have launched a fight-back against demands for an in-out referendum.

Cabinet minister Ken Clarke will share a platform with Labour peer Lord Mandelson later this month to stress the benefits of remaining in the union.

The move comes after fellow Conservative Lord Heseltine warned that the economy would suffer if Mr Cameron took a "punt" and committed to a national poll on membership.

Around 20 Tory MPs have also apparently signed a letter, due to be published this week, warning of "massive damage" if the UK leaves the EU.

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, told Sky's Murnaghan show that he, Mr Cameron and many other MPs were in agreement on the EU's importance to Britain.

The Lib Dem said the idea of isolating Britain from Europe was "just mad". "That would be completely the wrong thing," he said.

"In the end it is our national interest, our national interest in terms of our economy and jobs and society that has to come first in any approach."

Labour leader Ed Miliband on Sunday criticised Mr Cameron's handling of the situation as "incredibly dangerous", and he ruled out promising a referendum before the future shape of the EU was clear.

He told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "I think he is essentially sleepwalking us towards the exit door of the EU.

"The last thing we should do is start saying for some date five, six, seven years hence, let's decide now to have an in-out referendum."

Mr Miliband went on: "As Michael Heseltine said very well ... that means you are having a referendum on a negotiation that has not yet begun, with a timescale that is uncertain and an outcome that is unknown. That is an incredible gamble.

"We know why this is happening. (Mr Cameron) is worried about the threat from UKIP and he is worried about what is happening in his own party."

Rumours have been circulating that Downing Street has given tacit approval to efforts to highlight the dangers of an exit.

In an unusual intervention last week, senior US diplomat Philip Gordon openly stated that America wanted Britain to remain in the EU.

Prominent business figures including Sir Richard Branson have also spoken out about the potentially dire consequences of severing ties.

Tory backbencher Robert Buckland, who has organised the pro-membership letter, said he had been informed that Number 10 regarded his efforts as "helpful".

"There is a silent majority out there who do not want Britain to leave the EU," he told the Mail on Sunday.

"The danger for the Tories is that because the right-wing Eurosceptics are making the most noise, we could slide towards the exit door of the EU."

According to the Observer, Mr Clarke and Lord Mandelson are spearheading a new organisation, the Centre for British Influence through Europe.

The group, due to launch at the end of the month, will apparently support a cross-party "patriotic fightback for British leadership in Europe".

Cameron Facing Tory Backlash Over EU

Prime Minister, David Cameron, is facing a huge challenge to keep the Conservatives together ahead of his crunch speech on Britain's relationship with the EU. Tory Europhiles have launched a fightback against demands for an in-out referendum. Cabinet ...

‘Mad’ To Leave The EU, Cameron Tells Friends

David Cameron thinks it would be ‘mad’ for Britain to leave the EU and is secretly backing a move by Tory MPs to warn of the perils of cutting all our ties with Brussels.

The Prime Minister was also ‘pleased’ at US President Barack Obama sending a clear signal that the White House is opposed to the UK leaving the European Union.

Read the whole story at Mail On Sunday

Cameron Sends Transport Planes To Mali

David Cameron has agreed to help transport foreign troops and equipment to Mali amid efforts to halt an advance by Islamist rebels in a conflict that has already claimed 120 lives.

The help was agreed in a phone call between the British prime minister and President Francois Hollande, after France sent in forces to support the Malian government.

mali

French combat troops preparing to be airlifted into Mali on Saturday

Downing Street stressed that no UK troops would engage in combat operations in the country, but two transport planes, believed to be C-17s, are expected to be deployed within 24-48 hours.

"The Prime Minister spoke to President Hollande this evening [Saturday] to discuss the deteriorating situation in Mali and how the UK can support French military assistance provided to the Malian Government to contain rebel and extremist groups in the north of the country," a spokeswoman said.

"The Prime Minister has agreed that the UK will provide logistical military assistance to help transport foreign troops and equipment quickly to Mali.

"We will not be deploying any British personnel in a combat role. They also agreed that the peacekeeping mission from West African countries needs to be strongly supported by countries in the region and deployed as quickly as possible.

"Both leaders agreed that the situation in Mali poses a real threat to international security given terrorist activity there."

The Government's National Security Council (NSC) is set to discuss the situation in Mali when it meets on Tuesday.

Hundreds of French troops were deployed in Mali on Saturday after state forces lost control of a strategically important town to al-Qaida-linked Islamists. The rebels seized a swathe of northern Mali last spring.

France insists its soldiers have been deployed to aid West African troops, backed by the UN, in the fight against the rebels.

Washington is currently pondering whether to join France and Britain in aiding local troops via intelligence sharing against the rebels.

c17

Britain is to send two C-17 transport planes to Mali

President Hollande also sent French commandos into Somalia in a failed attempt to rescue hostage Denis Allex, who was kidnapped in July 2009. Two soldiers and Mr Allex are believed to have died in the bid.

Paris insists the two operations are entirely separate. The country's terrorist threat level has been raised over fears of reprisals from extremists.

Earlier, Cameron released a statement expressing "deep concern" about the rebel advances.

"I welcome the military assistance France has provided to the Malian government, at their request, to halt this advance," he said.

"These developments show the need to make urgent progress in implementing UN Security Council resolutions on Mali, and ensure that military intervention is reinforced by an inclusive political process leading to elections and a return to full civilian rule.

"I would also like to send personal condolences to the families of the French hostage killed in Somalia and those of the two soldiers either killed or missing in the rescue attempt."

The Government's National Security Council (NSC) is set to discuss the situation in Mali when it meets on Tuesday.

The statement from No.10:

I am deeply concerned about the recent rebel advances in Mali, which extend the reach of terrorist groups and threaten the stability of the country and the wider region. I welcome the military assistance France has provided to the Malian Government, at their request, to halt this advance.

“These developments show the need to make urgent progress in implementing UN Security Council resolutions on Mali, and ensure that military intervention is reinforced by an inclusive political process leading to elections and a return to full civilian rule.

“I would also like to send personal condolences to the families of the French hostage killed in Somalia, and those of the two soldiers either killed or missing in the rescue attempt. Last night’s tragic events underline how essential it is that we work together to combat terrorism in Africa.

Cameron’s Plan For EU Referendum Would Slash Ukip Support

David Cameron could slash Ukip's support by more than a third if he promises an in-out referendum on EU membership, according to a poll.

Research by ComRes for the Sunday People found 63% of the public want a vote on whether Britain should remain in the union.

Some 33% said they would cast their ballot in favour of a full withdrawal - including two thirds of Ukip supporters, 27% of Tories, 25% of Labour voters, and 17% of Liberal Democrats.

However, more people - 42% said they were against leaving the EU.

There were also signs that opposition to the union has softened, with the proportion who think there should be a referendum dropping from 68% in October 2011.

At that time 37% wanted to exit the EU altogether.

The poll suggested that Ukip is on track to knock the Tories into third place in next year's European parliament elections.

Asked who they would back in the contest, 35% said Labour, 23% Ukip and 22% the Conservatives. The Lib Dems were on just 8%.

But as the Prime Minister prepares to make his crunch speech on Europe later this month, Ukip voters were asked how they would react if he pledges to hold an in-out referendum.

Nearly four in 10 - 37% - said they would probably not support the party any more.

Quick Poll

Should Cameron hold a referendum on Britain's EU membership?

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ComRes chairman Andrew Hawkins said: "While European and Westminster electoral dynamics are different, the prospect of humiliation in 2014 would fuel disquiet among Mr Cameron's right flank who have still not forgiven him for not winning in 2010 and want to see traditional Tory values asserted more aggressively.

"The challenge for (Ukip leader) Nigel Farage is to appeal now to Labour voters and to maintain his party's support in the event of the promise of a referendum."

Earlier on Saturday, Tory grandee Lord Heseltine turned on David Cameron, warning the PM against taking a “punt” by holding a referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the European Union.

The former minister, who served under Margaret Thatcher, made the comments in interviews with The Times and FT ahead of Cameron’s speech on the EU later this month.

Cameron has said he wants the UK to stay in the EU, but wants to renegotiate the terms of the relationship, particularly as those within the EU are pushing for greater integration.

However the PM's desire to fashion a looser relationship with Europe could prove tricky. On Thursday, a delegation of German MPs told the prime minister not to "blackmail" the rest of Europe with threats, while on Wednesday the Obama administration warned Britain not to turn "inwards" with a referendum.

ComRes interviewed 2,059 adults online between December 19 and 21. Data were weighted to be representative of all adults. The Ukip voter sample size was 304.

Heseltine Warns Cameron Over EU Referendum ‘Punt’

Tory grandee Lord Heseltine has turned on David Cameron, warning the PM against taking a “punt” by holding a referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the European Union.

The former minister, who served under Margaret Thatcher, is renowned for his staunch Europhile views, and Saturday’s comments, made in interviews with The Times and FT ahead of Cameron’s speech on the EU later this month, will only serve to exacerbate Tory tensions over Europe.

heseltine

Heseltine: "Thatcher said 'Never go into a room unless you know how to get out of it'."

The peer, who serves as an adviser to the coalition on economic growth and has gone on record in his belief that Britain will eventually adopt the Euro, said: "Mrs Thatcher said 'Never go into a room unless you know how to get out of it'.

"To commit to a referendum about a negotiation that hasn't begun, on a timescale you cannot predict, on an outcome that's unknown, where Britain's appeal as an inward investment market would be the centre of the debate, seems to me like an unnecessary gamble."

Lord Heseltine added: "If I was responsible for inward investment into any of our European colleagues, it would give me the best argument I could dream of.

"Why put your factory (in Britain) when you don't know - and they can't tell you - the terms upon which you will trade with us in future?"

Quick Poll

Should Cameron hold a referendum on Britain's EU membership?

Share your vote on Facebook so your friends can take this poll

Cameron has come under pressure from an increasingly unruly Tory backbench, with many criticising the prime minister for not pushing Britain further away from the ailing European project.

The Tory leader has said he wants the UK to stay in the EU, but wants to renegotiate the terms of the relationship, particularly as those within the EU are pushing for greater integration.

However Cameron's desire to fashion a looser relationship with the EU could prove tricky. On Thursday, a delegation of German MPs told the prime minister not to "blackmail" the rest of Europe with threats.

Washington will be watching Cameron's speech closely, with the Obama administration having warned Britain on Wednesday not to turn "inwards" with a referendum.

Philip Gordon, the US assistant secretary for European affairs, made clear that the United States favoured a "strong British voice" within the EU.

Cameron ‘To Offer EU Referendum In 2018’ In Dutch Speech

David Cameron will enlist the support of the Dutch when he makes a bid to take back powers from Brussels in a long awaited speech on the EU, it has been reported.

According to The Sun the prime minister will travel to The Hague in the Netherlands on 22 January where he will promise British voters an in/out referendum in 2018 if the Conservative Party is returned to power at the next election.

The paper reports that Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte will support Cameron's call for more powers and money to be returned to individual EU nations.

On Thursday Nick Clegg, no doubt aware of Cameron's planned trip, joked with journalists about the coalition partners' different views on Britain's membership of the EU.

“As a native Dutch speaker I will be at hand to give a translation from double-Dutch to just Dutch," the Lib Dem leader said.

Cameron has kept his eurosceptic backbenchers waiting for quite some time to deliver his EU speech, with a large proportion of Tory MPs unlikely to satisfied with anything less than a promise to hold an in/out referendum.

However Cameron's desire to fashion a looser relationship with the EU could prove tricky. Yesterday a delegation of German MPs told the prime minister not to "blackmail" the rest of Europe with threats.

Washington will be watching Cameron's speech closely, with the Obama administration having warned Britain on Wednesday not to turn "inwards" with a referendum.

Philip Gordon, the US assistant secretary for European affairs, made clear that the United States favoured a "strong British voice" within the EU.

Also on HuffPost:

Nick Clegg Jokes That David Cameron’s EU Views Are ‘Double Dutch’

Nick Clegg has offered a robust defence of Britain’s membership of the European Union, amid warnings from Washington that the UK must not seek an exit.

Taking questions from journalists in Westminster on Thursday, the deputy prime minister said it was in Britain’s “vital national interest” to be a leading player in Brussels.

He said to leave the EU would reduce Britain to a “small” nation on the edges of power and said being part of the union was to “act big”.

“I think it’s an expression of self confidence,” he said of Britain’s continued membership. “Do we lead or do we hang back in a subsidiary status?”

And while he said the EU needed deep reform “in Britain’s image”, he said the UK could not try and re-write the fundamental principles of the institution. “You can’t be a member of a club and not be signed up to the basic rules of the club”.

The Lib Dem leader also dismissed calls from Tory backbenchers for there to be an immediate referendum on membership when there was no new treaty to be discussed. “Why would you provoke a great national debate,” he asked, when there were no immediate changes being proposed.

David Cameron is due to give a major speech on the EU this month – with many Tory MPs hoping he will commit the party to an in/out referendum should it win the 2015 election.

The speech has now taken on international significance, following the warning from the Obama administration it favoured a "strong British voice" within the EU.

Clegg joked that the prime minister would be giving his “major speech” on Britain’s membership of the EU in Holland. Playfully deriding Cameron’s more eurosceptic view, he added: “As a native Dutch speaker I will be at hand to give a translation from double-Dutch to just Dutch.”

Clegg said Cameron would be addressing the commitments the Conservative Party would be making on Europe in 2015. “He is not going to consult me on that,” he observed.

Related on HuffPost:

David Cameron Would Be ‘Cowardly’ To Dodge TV Debates, Voters Say

Voters think David Cameron would show himself to be a "coward" if he dodged televised leaders debates at the next election, a poll published today has found.

A ComRes survey for the Daily Express found 67% of those asked agreed the prime minister "would look like a coward if he declined to take part in leader debates in 2015”, and just 12% disagree.

Cameron has insisted he was "in favour" of the TV debates and would work to make them happen after being accused by Labour of "running scared" from the head-to-head clashes

Last year the prime minister told journalists he felt the TV debates had taken “all the life” out of the election campaign.

In a boost for Ukip the ComRes poll also found 54% of people believe Nigel Farage “should be offered the opportunity to take part alongside the other main party leaders” and only one in five – 20% - disagree.

Andrew Hawkins, ComRes chairman, said of the poll: "By agreeing to the debates in 2010 the main parties created an expectation among voters for future clashes which could backfire badly if they try to wriggle out of them. This genie is well and truly out of the bottle.”

Prior to the publication of the poll a Ukip spokesman told The Huffington Post UK that the party was “not stupid” and recognised the argument for including the party in any debate held today would be hard to win as it does not have any MPs.

However he said Ukip would have a much stronger case after the European elections in 2014, in which it expects to come first or second.

“If we get 20-25% in the European elections then we believe that the argument over whether or not we should be in speaks for itself.

“Of course we think he [Farage] should be involved, we are besting the Lib Dems in polls.”

Obama Tells David Cameron Not To ‘Turn Inwards’ With EU Referendum

Launch Slideshow

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 HIDE THUMBNAILS

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PMQs: David Cameron, Pest Control And NOT Breaking The Law

After attempting to show strength in the stumbling coalition government by drawing comparisons between his leadership and a can of DIY varnish, David Cameron struggled to paint an impression of an 'in control' leader as PMQs kicked-off for 2013.

Sure, he was punchy, confident, even (well, sometimes) likeable in his Flashman-style distain – we expect all of that from Cameron. But it’s less what he said and more how he reacted which revealed what the PM is really thinking right now.

“The only little red pests I pursue these days are in this House,” said Cameron in answer to a question on fox hunting, rage bubbling under the surface.

pmqs

Commentators noted the PM's anger on this first encounter of the year

Miliband had plenty of ammo to fire at the PM including details of how Patrick Rock, Mr Cameron’s political adviser, was seen carrying a “restricted” document warning of “broken pledges” in the coalition.

Maybe it was the tired, but effective, accusations from Miliband of Cameron heading up the “nasty party” or Ed’s claim the PM is ‘just a PR man who can’t even do a relaunch’ or the questions about whether the PM rated women or not – either way, Dave wasn’t on his game.

He spent most of the session as puce as Ed Balls’ tie.

pmqs

Eds Balls and Miliband found a reason to smile - how long will that last?

The comment he made right at the end that “I’m closer to all Conservatives than I am to anyone from any other party” probably tells us all we need to know about how the next few years of the Ronseal coalition will go.

Neither man landed a killer blow. Instead today was more a case of running off the Festive season flab.

Yet it was Cameron’s bizarre comment “I’ve never broken the law” mid-way through the session which had most people talking afterwards.

There’s plenty of people on social networks who seem to think they can prove differently.

VERDICT: Draw


QUOTE OF PMQs
This goes to the PM, who often makes his most revealing comments when trying to swipe his way out of a corner in a fit of rage. When quizzed about fox hunting he responded: “The only little red pests I pursue these days are in this House.” Boom.


WORST OUTFIT OF PMQs
Without a shadow of doubt it was Theresa May – that 1970s Clothkits look must end.

may

Harlequin gone wrong: What is Mrs May wearing? Suggestions below, please


WEIRD QUESTION DELIVERY OF PMQs
Chris Evans MP *purses lips* hmmmmmmmm

chris evans

You had one chance, young man, ONE CHANCE! And you fluffed it!

Miliband Accuses Cameron Of Attempting To ‘Divide And Rule’ Over Welfare Bill

Ed Miliband has accused Cameron of attempting to "divide and rule" after the House of Commons voted in favour of legislation to impose real-terms cuts on welfare.

Wednesday's vote exposed tensions between the coalition parties, with four Liberal Democrat MPs - including ex-minister Sarah Teather - rebelling by voting against the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill, while former leader Charles Kennedy abstained.

Mr Kennedy said he wanted to see changes to the legislation, which caps benefit rises at a below-inflation 1% for the next three years, before it becomes law.

miliband

Miliband accused Cameron of attempting to divide and rule

Charities which work with poor families voiced dismay at the outcome of last night's vote, which saw MPs give the Bill a second reading by a majority of 56, clearing the way for more detailed scrutiny in committee.

But Mr Cameron insisted the cap - branded a "strivers' tax" by Labour - was "fair" at a time when wages are increasing only slowly.

In a message on Twitter, the Prime Minister said: "The Commons vote to limit benefit rises to 1% while pay is only rising at 1% is fair. Labour have the wrong priorities."

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told MPs that benefit levels had grown by 20% since the beginning of the recession, while incomes for those in work have risen by just 10%.

"What we are trying to do over the next few years is get that back to a fair settlement and then eventually it will go back onto inflation," he said.

cameron

Cameron branded it a 'strivers' tax

The cap, announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement last year, is aimed at slashing £5 billion from the welfare bill over the next five years.

Mr Osborne has previously justified it by asking: "Where is the fairness... for the shift-worker, leaving home in the dark hours of the early morning, who looks up at the closed blinds of their next-door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits?"

But Mr Miliband said the benefits debate marked "a fork in the road for the country", citing figures showing that almost 70% of those who will lose out from the changes are in employment.

"It's now clear what the government's strategy is: it's a divide and rule strategy," the Labour leader told the Daily Mirror.

"They haven't succeeded in the first two-and-a-half years so they want to point the finger of blame at someone else so it doesn't get pointed at them. And therefore they are trying to divide and rule.

"They are cutting taxes for millionaires while hitting low-paid people, those people whose curtains are open when George Osborne gets up and still open when he goes to bed."

Mr Kennedy, who voted in both the Yes and No lobbies to register his abstention, said he was now "looking now to work with like-minded Lib Dems to amend the bill in its later stages".

Ms Teather, who lost her job as children and families minister in September last year, hit out at Tory ministers' characterisation of the measure as a division between "shirkers and strivers", warning it would have "long-term impacts on public attitudes, on attitudes of one neighbour against another".

She was joined in the No lobby by fellow Liberal Democrats David Ward, John Leech and Julian Huppert. Andrew George also abstained by voting in both lobbies and a further three Lib Dems who had earlier voted against a Labour amendment were absent for the key division.

Labour former foreign secretary David Miliband said the "rancid" bill was motivated by "the politics of dividing lines".

"The enemy within is not the unemployed, the enemy within is unemployment. I don't want to live in a society where we pretend that we can enjoy the good life while our neighbours lose their life chances," he said.

But Mr Duncan Smith accused the last Labour administration of "spending taxpayers' money like drunks on a Friday night" and "buying votes" by increasing handouts.

Labour had tied increasing numbers of households into the benefit system and created a "ridiculous nonsense" which made nine out of 10 families with children eligible for tax credits, he said.

Barnardo's chief executive Anne Marie Carrie warned that MPs risked condemning children in Britain's poorest families to "growing up stuck in the poverty trap, as their parents struggle to cover basic costs of living".

And Oxfam's director of UK poverty, Chris Johnes, said working-age benefits which poor families rely upon were being made to bear the brunt of Government cuts.

"Already, compared to average earnings, benefits are at their lowest levels since the welfare state was founded," said Mr Johnes

"On top of this, inequality will deepen as the proposed changes in the bill are undoubtedly going to hit poor families hardest."

Cameron and Clegg pledge no split before 2015 vote

LONDON (Reuters) - The leaders of Britain's governing coalition parties put on a show of unity on Monday, saying they would stay together until 2015 to try to reduce a large budget deficit despite policy differences over the European Union and state h...

David Cameron’s Chances Of Winning Next Election ‘Remote’, Says Lord Ashcroft

David Cameron's chances of winning the next election are "remote", top Tory donor and election strategist Lord Ashcroft has warned.

Writing on the ConservativeHome website this morning, the former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party cited bookmakers' views that an overall majority for Labour is the most likely result in May 2015.

"With the polls as they are, and political prospects as they currently seem, it would be hard to argue that the bookmakers are seriously misguided. Any realistic survey of the political landscape surely shows the odds are against the Tories metaphorically as well as literally," he said.

Ashcroft added: "The odds on a Conservative majority look comparatively remote."

The peer concludes that the combination of traditional Labour voters and disaffected Lib Dems means Ed Miliband "ought to be able to put together 40 per cent of the vote without getting out of bed" at the next election.

However he said rather than listening to his "recalcitrant backbenchers" who want to see the party shift to the right in order to win back votes, the prime minister should press ahead with the "incomplete" modernisation of the Conservative Party.

Ashcroft said of the Conservative Party: "Too many people whose support it needs mistrust its motives, do not think it shares their priorities, and do not think it embodies the values it says it does."

"This applies particularly to those who thought about voting Tory in 2010 but decided against it. While they trust Cameron and Osborne more than Miliband and Balls to manage the economy, they do not think the Conservatives stand for fairness or opportunity."

Many Tory backbenchers, alarmed by the apparent rise in support for Ukip, have urged Cameron to take a stronger eurosceptic line and drop his more liberal plans including gay marriage.

However Ashcroft said that while Ukip is a danger, it would be even more dangerous for the party to think it could win people back through a greater emphasis on Europe combined with signals it shared "the disgruntlement with modern Britain that motivates many of Ukip’s supporters".

David Cameron ‘In Favour’ Of TV Debates, But Does Not Commit

David Cameron has insisted he is in favour of TV election debates, but refused to commit himself to taking part in 2015.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Downing Street on Monday, Cameron was challenged over whether he would sign up to the head-to-head clashes at the next election.

"On TV debates, I'm in favour of them, I think they are good and I think we should go on having them, and I will play my part in trying to make that happen," he said.

In December the prime minister told journalists he thought the debates had taken “all the life” out of the election campaign and said he had not made up his mind about whether to take part in future clashes.

His comments led Labour to accuse him of “running scared” of Ed Miliband, suggesting he did not want to defend his record in No.10.

Cameron also told the press conference that he felt the 2010 TV debates, which gave Nick Clegg a huge, if fleeting, surge in the polls, did not change the outcome of the election.

"I think actually from memory the polls going into the start of the last election were pretty similar to the polls coming out of the last election, so I suspect the result would have been pretty much the same anyway," he said.

Clegg added: "I'm a firm believer in the TV debates."

SEE ALSO: Cameron And Clegg 'Married, But Not To Each Other'

WATCH: David Cameron And Nick Clegg ‘Married, But Not To Each Other’

David Cameron has insisted that the coalition will last right up until the election in 2015, as he and Nick Clegg set out their mid-term review of the government. In a rare joint press conference in Downing Street on Monday afternoon, the prime minist...

Cameron and Obama’s Hired Thugs Now Butchering Their Way Through Syria

David Cameron

Barak Obama and David Cameron, flanked by their ‘diplomats’ Hillary Clinton and William Hague, are all doing their bit to increase the bloodshed in Syria by backing the FSA rebel, al Qaida jihadist terrorists, who are presently working their way through the once stable country like termites eating through a once healthy home.

Blood comes cheap, and with budgets tight at home, western leaders are happy with the current arrangement. Rebel terrorist fighters are being paid between $500 and $2000 per month, and arms are free of charge through various NATO proxies and Gulf States. Their job assignment is a blunt one – to intimidate loyal pro-Syrian citizens, and to butcher thousands of innocent civilians – all in all, inflicting a reign of terror much like that one engineered by Washington in Nicaragua during the 1980′s. This is who Washington, London and Paris are backing in their quest to finally bring Syria under their globalist umbrella.

We have never have witnessed this level of open international criminality and hypocrisy by our puppet leaders in the West.

At least with Iraq, Bush and Blair tried to be creative with their lying by making up unbelievable stories of ”mobile anthrax labs”.

Nine years on, our well-paid elite political prostitutes don’t even bother with fish stories, they just put the weapons in the hands of terrorists, and pay these professional murderers to kill indiscriminately.

All this will eventually bring shame to the citizens of western nations in the long run, much the same way that the Nazis brought shame to the German people (but no shame to the corporations, bankers and elites though – because you can only feel shame if you have a conscious to begin with).

They will keep using the same tried and tested methods, unless they can be stopped by their own electorate.

Here is a video promoting Obama and Cameron’s favoured operatives in Syria…

Cameron accused of ‘compounding cover up’ over sex abuse

David Cameron and senior ministers have been accused of “compounding the cover up” over sex abuse allegations about Sir Cyril Smith, the late Liberal...

David Cameron under pressureto reveal “salacious” messages

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